April 22, 2022

Whether you rent or own, it’s best to consider installing a safety switch on all your circuits. Everyone wants to live and work in a safe environment. A safety switch provides the highest possible level of protection for people working with and around electrical equipment.

A safety switch refers to a device that monitors the electrical current that passes through your wiring system. It can detect alteration in power flow and cut it off if there is a variation due to overload or leakage. The goal is to avoid possible threats like fire, electrical shocks, and injuries.

1. What Does an Electrical Safety Switch Do?

Safety switches automatically switch off the power supply when it senses differences in the electrical circuit. This will protect people near electrical equipment from electrical shock. When a person comes in contact with a live wire, the power passes through the body to cause shock and possibly eventual death.

If you have a safety switch installed, it will detect any overload and power off instantly to save people from being electrocuted. In other words, safety switches act as a backup only and may not protect all wiring and all electric shocks.

Safety switches are vital for your business and home for many reasons, such as:

  • Maximum protection for your loved ones
  • Protection of your electrical equipment
  • Detect faulty appliances connected to the circuit
  • Prevent short-circuiting and overloading
  • It helps identify damaged wiring.

2. How Often Should You Test Your Safety Switches?

Ideally, it’s best to test your safety switches once every month. Sometimes this may seem impractical; to access the safety switch, you must examine the switchboard. Remember to test your safety switch by integrating the task with another, and hopefully you’ll never forget.

For example, pick an activity that you periodically engage in at home and link it with the test. It’ll act as a trigger to notify you it’s time to carry out a safety switch test. You can also pick a fixed date every month, say the 1st, to ensure you never forget.

3. How to Test Your Safety Switch


Testing your safety switch ensures they are working as intended. There is no point in having a safety switch that will not protect you effectively. It poses a risk to people living or working near electrical appliances. Follow these steps to verify the operation of your safety switch and eliminate the risk of electrical hazards.

  1. Locate your safety switch o the switchboard
  2. Look for a button marked with ‘test’ or ‘T.’
  3. Press the button.

Once you press the T button, the switch should instantly flip to ‘off’ position. That’s a sign everything is working correctly, so just flick it back on to resume normal operation.

If it does not turn off, ensure you turn off your power straight away. Contact a local electrician immediately to address these issues. Avoid using any electrical appliances until confirmed the safety switch is working correctly. 

4. How to Reset a Safety Switch

It’s fairly common for safety switches to trip. When it happens, it’s a sign it has done its job effectively and protected you from hazards. The easiest fix to restore its integrity is typically a simple reset. Here are the steps to reset your safety switch:

  • Locate the safety switch and check if it is in the ‘off’ position.
  • Try and flip it back to ‘on.’
  • If the issue is temporary, it will reset instantly. However, if you have faulty appliances connected to the circuit, it may fail to reset.
  • Unplug the faulty appliance and try again.

5. If In Doubt, Call an Electrician

The Australian Government regulations require safety switches in all homes and offices. At Astley Electrical, we offer reliable and affordable electrical services with a “client-for-life philosophy.” Get in touch with us today because of issues with your safety switch.