How to work out if you have a safety switch installed?

Firstly you can check by looking at your switchboard for a test reset button. This will tell you that you have a safety switch installed. Go to your switchboard and have a look- It should appear to look like this.

Switchboard with safety switch

Typical switchboard with the main switch, safety switch with test button, and four circuit breakers. All homes have circuit breakers or fuses. These are designed to protect the wiring and appliances within your home. Only safety switches are designed to protect people.

Confused about all the switches on the switchboard?

Sometimes they are often confused with circuit breakers and surge protectors. Here are a few key points to help work out what switches do.

The Surge protectors

Surge protectors provide safety for your appliances and wiring from voltage surges like a lightning strike or power failure. You need to know that safety switches and surge protectors play entirely different roles.

Circuit breakers

Circuit breakers will CUT OUT the power if the wiring has too much electricity flowing. Too much current flowing through a circuit would heat an electrical appliance’s wires or the wiring to unsafe levels. This could cause an electrical fire. Hence the importance of the circuit breaker.

Fuses are similar to circuit breakers and work in much the same way. You need to remember they are to protect your appliances NOT people.

Safety switches

Can detect if a current is leaking from a faulty switch, faulty wiring or electrical appliance. The Saftey Switch will automatically shut off the electricity supply when this is detected. In essence, it stops a current flowing to a person and earth – hence electrocuting them.

Portable safety switch

A portable safety switch system can be used both outdoors and indoors. They are perfect to use where permanent safety switch protection is not available. Because the devices often get knocked around, it is important to get them regularly inspected to ensure they are working correctly.