All About Safety Switches

New Smoke Alarm laws
December 1, 2016
LG Reverse Cycle Air Conditioner
Reverse-cycle air-conditioning to heat your home
May 23, 2017

All About Safety Switches

The team at Levitt Electrical often receive calls from customers who are not sure whether they need additional safety switches.

Some general information on current safety switch requirements in Queensland homes is provided below.

What is a safety switch?

Safety switches are insurance against electric shock. They shut off electricity supply when current leakage is detected. This avoids serious electric shock and possible electric burns by stopping the current flowing through a person.

I have circuit breakers. Is that the same thing?

Circuit breakers protect an electrical circuit by quickly cutting power when there is a high current fault or overload that may cause a hazard. A safety switch is different, it shuts off electricity supply when it detects a leakage to earth. Circuit breakers are installed to protect circuit wiring and appliances, while safety switches protect people.

I already have a safety switch, do I need additional ones?

It is recommended Queenslanders consider having safety switches installed on all circuits in their home, including power points, lights, air conditioning, oven, hot water and pool equipment circuits, even if they are on a separate tariff.

What are my legal obligations?

Legally, the following currently applies in Queensland homes:

All new homes built or extended after 1992 but before 2000
Safety switches have been compulsory on all new homes in Queensland since 1992. Safety switches must also be fitted to all power point circuits when a new electrical installation occurs, such as a general power outlet (GPO).

All new homes built or extended after 2000
Safety switches have been compulsory on all power point and lighting circuits for new Queensland homes built since 2000, following the change in Wiring Rules.

Homes which have had the electrical installation extended to include additional lighting and power point circuits are required to have safety switch protection on both lighting and power point circuits.

Buying a property
If you buy a property without a safety switch, you must install a safety switch for the power point circuits within three months of a property transfer. This applies to any transfer of domestic premises.

Selling a property
If you sell a property, you first establish if a safety switch is installed for power point circuits, which must be declared on the standard sales contract and Form 24 Property Transfer.

Renting a home
A landlord renting out a home must ensure a safety switch has been installed for the power points within six months of the tenancy agreement, if there is not a safety switch already present.

More information

Regardless of whether you own or rent, the Queensland Government recommends you consider having safety switches installed on all circuits. Safety switches protect you, your family and anyone visiting the property from electric shock.

To book a safety switch installation or for more information on safety switches contact the team of licensed master electricians at Levitt Electrical today on 3399 4499 or complete our online Enquiry Form.

Comments are closed.