Australian Electrical FAQs
What can I do if my safety switch trips?
This means that the switch has detected a fault in the electrical system. In some cases, a safety switch can be reset depending on the type of fault detected. You should never attempt to continue resetting the safety switch as it can affect the operation of the device if a future fault was to occur. The cheapest and easiest way out is to call an electrician to diagnose. Safety switches are a must-have, if you suspect your switchboard has not been fitted with one of these, you should make contact with an electrician as soon as possible.
My smoke alarm is beeping. What can I do?
In most cases, all you need to do is replace the battery. Battery-only alarms can usually be hushed by replacing the battery (usually a 9-volt battery). The alarm should clip (either with a twist or a slide) into a bracket that is secured to the ceiling. A mains-powered smoke alarm will still have a battery (usually 9 volts) backup inbuilt. Again the alarm should clip (either with a twist or a slide) into a bracket that is secured to the ceiling.
I have circuit breakers installed in my switchboard already. Do I still need electrical safety switches?
Yes. A circuit breaker is designed to protect the cables and accessories installed in your premises only. A safety switch is designed to protect you, your family and your employees. However, electrical safety switches do not protect under all circumstances. Your licensed electrician can install one of these for you.
If my wiring is okay but I suspect my switchboard is outdated do I need to replace it?
Modern-day switchboards come with switch-type circuit breakers and safety switches which help to save lives and prevent you and your family from being electrocuted. Not only are these switchboards safer but also make resetting circuits easier. Faults and problems are easier to detect and the chance of an electrical fire is greatly decreased.
I have heard that I need to install safety switches and smoke alarms in my house, is this correct?
Yes. The state government has introduced new regulations stating that all NSW homes sold or renewing a lease agreement, must have safety switches and hard-wired smoke alarms installed by a licensed electrician or electrical contractor.
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