The two major threats when it comes to electricity are FIRE and SHOCK. Basically if too much current flows through a cable for long enough it can heat it up enough to initiate fire and if just a little bit of electrical current flows through a human body it can be lethal. It upsets the rhythm of the heart and the lights go out!
So how to deal with it. Originally fuse wire was fitted with the idea being it would melt in porcelain fitting and stop the flow of electricity. The problem is though it was a slow process and relied on the correct size fuse wire to be fitted and a way too slow to offer any protection against electric shock.
Circuit breakers came along which are preset to trip at a designated value of current and allows the occupant to visually see which circuit has tripped and enables them to attempt to restore the circuit. Better than fuses, look like safety switches but are not and DO NOT offer that critical life-threatening protection required to save lives.
Although safety switches have been compulsory in Queensland homes since 1992 on power circuits only, it later became mandatory on new light circuits, however, now the Queensland Government is urging all Queenslanders to install safety switches on all circuits after vigorous lobbying following more “preventable” fatalities. So the new AS3000 (the electrician’s bible) has recently been updated and they are now mandatory on ALL circuits in new homes and if you make any alterations to an existing circuit or add a new circuit, the safety switch implementation applies.
If your rental property does not have a safety switch installed, you must arrange installation by a licensed electrician. If a safety switch is not installed in your rental property you may get fines of up to $1,500. The regulations ensure people in domestic rental properties have the same protection from the electric shock that homeowners have. The law now requires the installation of safety switches within three months of the sale of a domestic residence constructed prior to 1992.
Yes, safety switches are a bit more expensive than circuit breakers. So some chose to have one safety switch protect up to 3 circuits. The problem with that is if ever there is an earth leakage fault on a circuit, every circuit that is protected by that safety switch is affected. Imagine you have your friends and family over for a party and everything turns off. You can’t switch it back on because the fault is still present, the party fizzles out.
For this reason, we recommend installing one to each circuit. In this scenario, you’ve only lost the power to one circuit. Simply run a lead to another power point from another working circuit and get Fleetwood Mac up and running again until you can identify the cause, or call your local sparky.
The beauty of a combined Safety switches circuit breakers is that it offers far greater protection against fire and shock as they detect overloading, short circuits, and dangerous stray voltages very, very quickly and may save you $$ in the long term too by avoiding unnecessary visits from an electrician to locate the cause and restore the power.
Not sure why you would protect the lights? Who gets up to replace the globes? You, your tenants? Is there a fault there that could put harmful current across one of your most important organs!
So for the sake of around 100 odd dollars per circuit, would you bother mucking around?
Call or email us today and we’ll get you the level of protection you want to be installed.
In a lot of Queensland homes, safety switches are only fitted to the power circuit. Due to the confusion between safety switches and circuit breakers, it means many homes do not have the appropriate level of safety – many Queenslanders have no protection for their family on other sub-circuits such as lights, pool, air-conditioning, stove or hot water system. So the Queensland Government produced this video – https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/resources/videos/films/the-risk-is-real