Understanding your electrical safety switch

An electrical safety switch is one of the most important life saving devices you can have in you house.

How does an electrical safety switch work?

Am electrical safety switch monitors the electrical circuit and automatically shuts off the power when it detects current leaking from the circuit. Faulty switches, wiring or electrical appliances can be the source of the electrical leak.  Your safety switch protects you by cutting off the electricity before it has a chance to pose a hazard and cause damage or injury.

Electrical safety switches are real life savers and are compulsory in all Queensland houses and in the majority of workplaces.

Where is my electrical safety switch?

The electrical safety switch in your electrical meter box.


Using your electrical safety switch to track down electrical faults

If your power goes off then your electrical safety switch may have tripped. Have a look around and see if other properties have power. If you’re the only one affected then its time to have a look at your safety switch. Be on the alert for obvious signs of damage to electrical appliances or cords or smell of electrical burnout. At all times be safe

If your electrical safety switch has tripped it will be in the ‘Off’ ‘O’ position.

Resetting the switch

First try to reset the safety switch by switching it to the ‘On’  ‘I’ position

electrical safety switch on off positions

What if the safety switch won’t reset?

If the switch won’t reset (i.e. it trips again) then you need to isolate the cause of the fault. Turn off all power points and lights and unplug appliances. Check for obvious faults such as damaged cords, electrical burn out etc. If in any doubt or safety is a concern call an electrician.

Use a process of elimination to track down the fault

With all points and appliances disconnected try again to reset the safety switch. If it resets successfully start plugging in and restarting appliances one at a time until the switch trips again. At this point you have found your faulty appliance. You can then decide what to do about the faulty appliance – have it tested, repaired or replaced.

If the safety switch doesn’t reset

If in any doubt please call us at Quik Electrical for quick and efficient response to any electrical problems

More info on electrical safety switches

Queensland Government Electrical Safety Office Fact Sheet – Electrical safety switches save lives

Queensland Government Electrical Safety Office