The Captains Journal - Electrical Blog

Differences Between a Circuit Breaker and a Safety Switch

Do you know the difference between a circuit breaker and a safety switch?

It is quite shocking to know that not many people can tell the difference between a circuit breaker and a safety switch with around 40% of people thinking they are the same thing. The Government is now pushing for homes to be fitted with more than one safety switch for added home safety.

Safety switches

Safety switches protect you from electric shock. They will cut the power in the very millisecond a leak in the current is detected.

Circuit breakers

Circuit breakers protect the circuitry. They will cut the power when too much current is present in the circuit. This stops overheating.

Circuit breakers do not save people directly, they provide defence against electrical fires due to power surges. It is only safety switches that save the lives of the occupants in a home.

To find if you have a safety switch installed you can check your electrical box for markings. Typically, electricians will write above each fuse, circuit breaker and safety switch. If there isn't a marking look for switches that have a "T" or Test button. This is a safety switch.

Who can install circuit breakers and safety switches?

You should only ever have a fully licenced electrician work on your switchboard or any other electrical fault on your home. If electrical work is carried out by someone other than an electrician can risk voiding your insurance.

Safety switches and circuit breakers video

More information on safety switches

For more information feel free to contact us on 1300 669 135 and one of our friendly staff will be able to answer your query


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