In both NSW and QLD, local authorities recommend that safety switches are tested every six months to ensure they are working. Detector Inspector’s safety switch testing service provides peace of mind that the safety switches at your home are operating correctly providing effective protection against potentially fatal electrocution.
What is a safety switch and why is it important?
A safety switch (also known as a Residual Current Device or RCD) is a life-saving device designed to protect people from electrocution.
Safety switches are more sensitive than circuit breakers, which are designed to detect larger overloads of current and cut off in time to prevent damage to appliances. Circuit breakers do not provide personal safety against electric shock. Safety switches are designed to cut the circuit much sooner, at lower levels of current imbalance that aren’t detected by a circuit breaker.
A safety switch is the only effective protection against potentially fatal electrocution.
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Regular tests of the safety switch keep occupants safe from the dangers of electrocution and ensure landlords and property managers are fulfilling their obligations.
For your peace of mind, our technicians can test the safety switch when we’re at your property for a regular smoke alarm service. If the safety switch is found to be faulty, we’ll organise a prompt replacement by a licensed electrician for a flat fee.
Why safety switches are important:
Safety switches are the only effective personal protection against electrocution, serious injury and death
Most properties in NSW & QLD require up-to-date safety switches
Testing is important
NSW Fair Trading and the Queensland Government Electrical Safety Office recommend that safety switches be tested every six months
In QLD, having no safety switches is a breach of the law. In NSW, there may be a legal breach depending on the age of the circuit
The annual safety switch testing service includes:
Safety & compliance check
A safety check on current safety switches to ensure they meet the relevant guidelines for the push test in each state
Where a safety switch fails, video evidence is provided
Safety switch replacement
Replacement of any faulty unit for a flat fee with no hidden extra costs
A digital Service Report that details the property’s compliance with all applicable safety switch legislation
Our safety switch testing service is available as an add-on to an annual smoke alarm service.
Safety switch testing service
A safety switch testing service is provided as an add-on to the annual smoke alarm service for:
+GST per annum
Replacement of faulty safety switch
+GST including the electrician’s callout fee
Please note that currently, we are only offering replacements for faulty safety switches in certain non-metro areas. Where our technicians identify a faulty unit, the required replacement works to meet the guidelines will be mentioned in the Service Report.
What are the requirements in NSW & QLD?
In both NSW and QLD, local authorities recommend that safety switches are tested every six months to ensure they are working.
New South Wales:
- Safety switches have been required on all new powerpoint circuits installed since 1991 and on all new light circuits installed since 2000.
- It’s not a legal requirement to install safety switches on older circuits, but for safety reasons their use is strongly recommended by NSW Fair Trading.
- At the start of every new tenancy, both the agent/landlord and the tenant must indicate on the entry condition report whether the safety switch is working; the only way to confirm this is by testing it.
- If a safety switch is found to be faulty or is detecting an electrical fault at any point during a tenancy, this is considered an urgent repair.
- Under NSW law, any electrical installation work must be done by a licensed electrician, and the electrician is required to provide a uniquely numbered Certificate of Compliance Electrical Work (CCEW).
- Owners of residential rental accommodation must have safety switches installed in their rental properties. The penalty for landlords is a fine of up to $1500.
- Older properties built prior to 1992 are less likely to have safety switches installed; if you purchase a property like this, you are required by law to install safety switches within 3 months.
- The Residential Tenancies Authority recommends that old-style switchboards are upgraded to the latest technology for better protection.
- Safety switches must be installed by a licensed electrician; DIY electrical work is illegal in QLD.
NSW Fair Trading: Electrical safety
NSW Fair Trading: Electrical safety in the home
Queensland's electrical safety regulator: Electrical safety in rental properties
Electrical Safety Regulation 2013 (QLD) section 85
The advice provided in these guidelines is of a general nature only and is a summary of the main legislation and regulations affecting residential safety and compliance for the services and in the states described. It is not to be treated as a comprehensive appraisal of all applicable legislation and regulations in force. This advice does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. The advice is a summary of guidelines published by state and territory government websites. Accordingly, we have relied on the accuracy of the content published by the relevant websites in compiling this advice. You should seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content.