Is Your Safety Switch Working?

Do you want to ensure that your family is protected against electrical shocks? Then you need to have working safety switches for every circuit in your home. In new homes, safety switches are compulsory standard components on the switchboards. However, if you live in an older house, it’s up to you to ensure that you update your switchboard to include safety switches. To help ensure that your safety switch is working correctly, we will discuss its working mechanism, and we will show you how to test it.

How do safety switches work?

Many people confuse safety switches and circuit breakers. These two aren’t the same. Circuit breakers only protect the circuit against current overload, which means that you can still get electrocuted even if you have them installed. Safety switches work by monitoring the current flow in the active or live and neutral wires of a circuit, and when they detect any residual current, they automatically shut off the circuit within less than 300 milliseconds. Residual current is dangerous

because it’s the cause of electric shocks. By turning off the circuit, safety switches protect you from getting shocked in case you have malfunctioning appliances, faulty wiring, or if water comes into contact with electronic devices or open wires in your home.

How can you test your safety switches?

You have to test your safety switches at least every three months to make sure they are working correctly. Here’s how to go about testing safety switches:

  • Since the test involves cutting off power to various circuits, carry it out during the daytime, and let your entire household know about it to avoid inconveniencing them.
  • Go to the switchboard and open it. Find the “Test” or “T” button and press it firmly. If the safety switch is tripped (if it flicks to “OFF”), it means that it is working correctly.
  • If any lights or appliances turn off, it means that they are protected by the safety switch.
  • If pressing the “Test” button doesn’t cut off the power in the connected circuit, it means that your safety switch is malfunctioning, so it’s time to call a licensed electrician.
  • Remember to turn your safety switch back to the “ON” position once you are done.
  • Do the same for each safety switch (if you have multiple safety switches on your switchboard).


Albert Corn & Son specialist electricians operating in and around the Geelong area. If you need help installing safety switches, replacing faulty ones, or even carrying out safety checks, you should get in touch with them. Safety should always be a priority when dealing with electricity, so ensure that you only hire certified electricians whenever you need help with any electrical components.

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Our proven track record of over 70 years as electrical contractors servicing Geelong, enables us to quickly identify your needs and offer you the best possible solutions.

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