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Safety Fact Sheet

Circuit Breakers

Circuit breakers are designed to protect your wiring in the case of a short circuit or overload (due to faulty wiring or appliances), the circuit breaker cuts of power to the wiring and prevents damage to the wiring. Once a circuit breaker has been tripped it must be reset. Circuit breakers replace the old fuses which could not be reset and may prevent fire risks (fuses are an obsolete piece of electrical equipment).

Safety Switch (RCD)

Safety switches are designed to prevent death or injury through electric shock. They work by monitoring the current going through a circuit and if they detect a drop in the current, they shut of the electric supply. This stops the chance of a person being electrocuted due to a faulty appliance, wiring or misuse of electrical appliances (eg. A knife in a toaster). Current regulations require multiple safety switches, a minimum of one for light, one for power.

Safety switches must be checked regularly to ensure they are operating correctly.

Surge Protection

Surge protectors are designed to protect electrical devices from voltage spikes. A surge protector attempts to regulate the voltage supplied to an electric device by either blocking or by shorting to ground voltages above a safe threshold. Electrical surges or spikes are caused by lightning, irregular power from electrical suppliers. Surge protection can be proved at the circuit board to protect all circuits or through individual appliances the protect specific items.

Smoke Detectors

Smoke detectors are designed to detect smoke and issue an alarm to alert nearby people that there is a potential fire. Because smoke rises, most detectors are mounted on the ceiling or on a wall near the ceiling and, to avoid the nuisance of false alarms, they are generally mounted away from kitchens. To increase the chances of waking sleeping occupants, most homes have at least one smoke detector near any bedrooms; ideally, in a hallway, as well as in the bedroom itself. Smoke detectors are usually powered by one or more batteries, but some can be connected directly to the power mains. Detectors that are directly connected to the mains often have a battery as a power supply backup in case the mains power fails. In either case, it is usually necessary to replace the batteries once a year to ensure appropriate protection if alkaline or carbon-zinc batteries are used.

Wiring

If your home is more than 25 years old, the electrical wiring needed for your lights, cooker, and other electrical equipment and appliances may potentially be unsafe. The wiring could be deteriorating and unable to cope with the requirements of a modern household and your home could catch fire because of faulty and/or unsafe wiring.

 
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