Prevent Fire and Electric Shock With a Safety Switch Test

When was the last time you tested your safety switch? Everyone knows the firefighter campaign of changing your smoke alarm battery when daylight savings start. We want to remind you to test your safety switch every year on the 1st of December. It’s a good time for a safety check leading into the holiday season when you may go away for a period of time or conversely have a house full of people. 


How Does a Safety Switch Work?


A safety switch turns off power within 0.3 of a second when it detects an issue. So for example, if a person in your home has contact with a live electrical conductor, for example, a toaster, electricity will flow through their body, acting as a conduit to the earth. This can cause a person’s heart to stop. A working safety switch means the electricity is stopped in 300 milliseconds providing life-saving protection. 

A safety switch turns off power when it detects a faulty appliance. If you have gone away on holiday this is especially important as it will prevent fires being caused by faulty appliances. 

Testing your safety switch on December 1 means you can address any issues before the holidays begin.


How Do I Test the Safety Switch?


It’s as easy as presenting the TEST button on the safety switch. Once the TEST button is pressed this trips the safety switch immediately and turns off the power. So before you do this unplug appliances like your smart TV and computer. Leave a light on or similar so you can check the power is off. 

If nothing happens meaning the power stays on, call our electricians at Max Power straight away as the safety switch is not working.

Every year or two it is important to have your whole electrical system inspected for safety, this check will include your safety switch and switchboard. Safety switches protect the most important keepsakes in your home – your family. Make sure yours is working properly and get peace of mind for not much cost at all.


Safety Switch FAQs

My Safety Switch Keeps Tripping and Turning Off the Power


Is your safety switch tripping every time you turn on more than one appliance or certain appliances together? This may be because you have the wrong wiring in your switchboard, call us to detect what wiring has been hooked up incorrectly. It can be as simple as changing the wiring from one switch to another that has more power available, or you may need an extra circuit to be run to separate. 


A safety switch also turns off if you keep trying to plug in a broken appliance. If it detects a surge, it will cut the power, the appliance is not safe and needs to be replaced. A lightning strike may also cause your safety switch to turn off the power, just reset the safety switch and you should get power back. 


Should the Safety Switch Be Up or Down?


The ‘up’ position is on and the ‘down’ position.


How do I turn my Safety Switch back on?


Flip the switch to the ‘on’ position.


Do I need a safety switch on a new switchboard?


If you are upgrading, replacing or installing a new switchboard, yes you must have a safety switch on all outgoing circuits. Our qualified electricians would advise you this before starting the job. 


What happens if I press the TEST button on the safety switch?


As mentioned previously it will turn off your power and this means it is working, If the power stays on call us straight away. 


My power points are not working but my lights are on.


This is likely caused by a faulty electrical appliance. Unplug the last appliance you used and reset your safety switch. If this turns the power back on then is that appliance. But if not then check some other commonly used or always plugged-in appliances, turn them all off and one at a time turn them back on, this should help you find the culprit.


So, remember this December – check your safety switch!