Check RCDs to ensure electrical safety, says WA’s energy safety regulator


Western Australia’s safety regulator is encouraging home and business owners to check their residual current devices (RCDs), which is the compulsory life-saving switches that protect against electrocution as it automatically stops the electricity supply when they detect a fault.

The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety said RCDs should be tested at least every three months.

“The start of a new season means it’s time to check your RCDs – it only takes a few minutes but it could save a life,” said Director of Energy Safety Ken Bowron.

“RCDs are vital devices for preventing serious electrical injuries and deaths. While circuit breakers and fuses protect against overloading and short circuits, they will not protect against electrocution. No RCD means ‘no second chance’.

“There have been two fatalities in WA in the past 12 years involving mechanical failure of an RCD due to contamination. Regular testing would have ensured that these devices operated correctly.”

A video and other tips can be accessed on DMIRS’ website.

The Department recommends contacting a licensed electrical contractor immediately if issues are detected.

“Two RCDs must be fitted at all properties constructed after 2000 as well as any homes that are being sold or rented,” said Mr. Bowron.

“We strongly recommend that all homes have more than one RCD installed. This ensures some light and power socket outlets remain operational even when one device trips. A single RCD is also more prone to nuisance tripping.”

More information is available here.

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