26 September 2023

Householders called to test power switches

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Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) is calling on Victorians to test their electrical safety switches every year to prevent fire, electric shock and electrocution.

Launching the Test Reset Protect campaign, Chief Executive of ESV, Leanne Hughson said a simple safety switch check could mean the difference between life and death.

Ms Hughson said Victorian firefighters attended more than 300 electrical fires every year, many of which started from old wiring that had degraded or was unable to cope with the demands of modern electrical equipment.

She said safety switches monitor the flow of electricity through a circuit and detect a problem that may pose a risk to personal safety, turning the power off before an incident occurs.

“Testing safety switches is easy to do,” Ms Hughson said.

“It doesn’t matter whether you own your home or are renting, you need to ensure your safety switches are working.”

She said safety switches were located on most household switchboards, identified by a small button marked by the word ‘Test’.

Ms Hughson said that once pressed, power would be cut to lights and appliances connected to that particular safety switch.

“If lights or appliances don’t lose power then the safety switch may have failed,” the Chief Executive said.

“A licensed electrician should be employed to identify where faults are and make repairs,” she said.

“If you don’t have a safety switch installed, contact a licensed electrician and get one fitted as soon as possible,” Ms Hughson said.

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