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What Does an Electrical Safety Switch Do?

Electrical Safety Switch

Electrical safety switches are an essential part of your electrical safety at home, helping to protect you and your loved ones from experiencing an electric shock. These safety switches are also known as residual current devices (RCDs) and all homes in WA must be fitted with these devices. Unfortunately, many old houses may not be protected by safety switches, so you should always check with an experienced electrician on this issue. The electricians at Scott Comms will be taking you through what an electrical safety switch does, why they’re important and how you can reset them after they’ve been tripped.


How do electrical safety switches work?

An electrical safety switch works by interrupting an electrical circuit to help protect a person from experiencing an electric shock. The devices detect a change in the circuit and shut off the power supply in as quick as 0.3 seconds. 


Although it’s the circuit breakers and fuses that protect your home against short circuits and power overloads, the safety switches are the only devices that protect the people in your home from receiving a nasty electric shock. These switches are installed in your circuit breaker and give you that extra level of protection when there is a significant shift in the electrical current. 


However, they may not be protecting all the wiring in your home, so make sure that you have a suitable number of them to keep you and your family safe. 


How to test a safety switch

There’s no point in having safety switches installed if they aren’t in solid working condition. You’ll need to test your safety switches at regular intervals to make sure that it’s ready to work when you need it to. 


Locate your safety switch and find the ‘T’ or ‘test’ button on the device. Once you press this, you should see the switch flip to the ‘off’ position instantly. This is a sign that everything is in working order and you can now switch this back to the ‘on’ position. 


If it doesn’t flip to the ‘off’ position once you’ve pressed the button, make sure to turn off the power straight away. Call an experienced residential electrician Perth who can help to determine the cause of the problem and repair or replace the safety switch that you have in place. 


How to reset a safety switch

If your safety switch has tripped, don’t be alarmed. It’s a sign that your device has done its job properly and protected you from a potential hazard. Resetting your safety switch should be an easy fix to get your power back on. 


  • To reset your safety switch, first locate your device in the circuit breaker.
  • You should see the device in the ‘off’ position. 
  • Try and flip this back to the ‘on’ position.
  • In some cases, the problem is temporary and you should be able to reset it easily. However, there may be a faulty appliance that’s connected to the circuit which is the source of the problem. 
  • Make sure to unplug this appliance (or appliances) and then you should be able to reset the safety switch. 
  • Once you start to plug in your appliances again, you may trip the safety switch again and this can help you to identify which appliance is at fault.

If you’re still unable to reset the safety switch or notice that you’re experiencing an issue quite regularly, it’s best to call an electrician to resolve the problem. 


If in doubt, call an electrician 

Never take the risk when it comes to electrical safety in your home. Even if you already have safety switches in place, you may want to think about installing more to keep you safe. Always call an electrician Perth who can come and conduct a thorough electrical safety inspection of your home. 


The friendly team at Scott Comms can help install safety switches (or RCDs) in your home to make sure you are properly protected. We can also help walk you through the testing process to check whether everything is in safe working order. 


Give us a call today on (08) 6107 4553, or send an enquiry through to us with your electrical and communications needs.

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Provat Roy
Provat Roy
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Best electrician team I have ever met. Excellent team work with enthusiasm. Know their job very well. Professional and friendly. Definitely would like to hire them again & again
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Karen Butler
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We were taken advantage of by another company Scott very kindly did a comparison quote for us at no charge . There are some honest and decent people in thisworld Faith in humanity restored Thanks Scott
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Brice Servais
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6:00PM big storm knocked off half the power in the house. one phone call later, and we're running on a (free) generator for the night until a proper repair in the morning. THAT is service.
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Guerrero Hughuez
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Awesome job fellas. Really like how you go about business. You'll go far!