Geelong tragedy prompts call for safety switches in homes

By: Master Electricians Australia  12-Apr-2011
Keywords: Rcd Testing, Safety Switch

Master Electricians Australia is urging all home owners to have installed, following the Victorian Coroner’s report into the tragic death of a .

Master Electricians Australia chief executive Malcolm Richards said most of the electrical deaths that occur in Australian homes could be prevented through the use of safety switches.

“A safety switch will cut the power to a circuit in just milliseconds – much quicker than a heartbeat and fast enough to prevent electrocution,” Mr Richards said.

“The simple fact is that safety switches save lives.  Sadly, however, they are not as common in homes as they could be.

“As we’ve seen in this tragic case in Hamlyn Heights, electrocutions don’t occur only when people are working with electricity.

“Even something as simple as touching a loose connection while working in the roof can cost your life, or the life of a loved one.

“An investment of around $250 can be the difference between life and death.”

Mr Richards said home owners needed to understand the difference between safety switches and circuit breakers.  Circuit breakers were designed to protect appliances and electrical circuits from overloading, but did not operate quickly enough to prevent electrocution.

He also said it was important that safety switches were fitted to all circuits in a home.

“Many homes built in the last decade will have safety switches fitted to the power and light circuits, but not to other circuits such as hot water, stoves and air-conditioners.

“So even if you have a safety switch fitted, tragedies such as the one that occurred last February may still happen.

“Home owners need to ensure they have safety switches fitted on every circuit in order to provide the greatest level of protection for their families.”

He also urged people to switch off the mains electricity before entering a roof space to conduct any work, regardless of whether or not they were working with electricity.

“As we’ve seen on a number of occasions in Australia over recent years, accidentally contacting an electrical circuit or even a metal fitting which has become live can cause sudden death.  Play it safe – turn off the power first.”

For advice on having safety switches installed, contact a on 1300 88 91 98.  Master Electricians are accredited to provide the highest standards of service, quality, energy efficiency and electrical safety.

Keywords: Rcd Testing, Safety Switch

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