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Positioning your Main Switchboard

In the past, your meter and switchboard were traditionally situated together in a metal box on the exterior of your house. You can now have your switchboard installed inside your home and your meter can remain on the exterior.

Having your switchboard inside means it is safe from tampering and if you do overload a circuit you don't have to go outside the home, possibly at night risking injury and discomfort to re-establish power to the circuit.

Earth Wires

Earth wires in appliance cords and in your electrical installation are your life-lines. In the event of a fault occurring, power will flow to earth by the shortest and easiest path. If the appliance is not properly earthed, the power may flow through the body of the user, with possibly fatal results.

The earth wires from your power points join a main earth wire which in turn is attached to a metal stake driven into the ground and/or a metal water pipe. This connection should be checked from time to time to see that it is still connected and is not damaged.

If it is necessary to have the earth wire shifted for any reason, or any metal water pipe altered or replaced by a plastic water pipe or fittings, contact your licensed electrical contractor.

Smoke Alarms

Install at least one smoke alarm on each level of a multi-storey dwelling. Locate an alarm outside every sleeping area and inside every room where a smoker sleeps.

  • Locate an alarm in every room where electrical appliances such as portable heaters and humidifiers are used.
  • Locate an alarm in every bedroom where someone sleeps with the door closed.
  • An alarm should be located at each end of a bedroom hallway if the hallway is more than 9m long.
  • Interconnect all household Smoke Alarms
  • Smoke alarms are not recommended in areas with high condensation such as bathrooms and laundries.
  • Smoke alarms should be replaced about every 5-7 years. Check manufacturers recommendations for their advice.

Circuit Breakers

Miniature Circuit Breakers (MCBs) are the modern day alternative to traditional fuses. Their main benefit is that if you do overload a circuit the circuit breaker will automatically switch off. To re-establish power you simply have to reset the circuit breaker by flicking a switch instead of re-wiring a fuse.

Safety Switches

In recent years changes in wiring regulations have made it mandatory for safety switches to be fitted in all new homes. Safety switches continually monitor the power flowing through the wires in your home. If a leakage in current flow occurs due to an Earth fault, your safety switch will cut the power off in less than 40 milliseconds, saving your life. Safety Switches are available in three main types:

  1. Power Point Types
    While they can't normally protect the entire home, a Power Point Type Safety Switch can protect specific parts of your home. For example, the kitchen, or the nursery, the garage, bedroom, bathroom, or laundry. Should you decide on this form of Safety Switch protection, there is an extensive range available made specifically for Australian conditions.

  2. Switchboard Mounted Types
    By far the most efficient method of protection is a Switchboard Mounted Lifesaver Safety Switch because it can offer protection for the entire home. All power and lighting circuits in the home can be protected if required.

  3. Portable Types
    Portable Lifesaver Safety Switches allows you to carry your protection with you. They are a must whenever an extension cord is used with a power tool or in high risk situations such as outdoors or damp conditions.