Did you know that more than 70% of all house fires originate at the main switch board? Has your home got an original fuse board? Do you have Safety Switches or just circuit breakers? If your switchboard is out of date your home could be at risk of fire and you could be at risk of electrocution! Here are a few of the most common faults and risks we see with switchboards:
- Porcelain Rewireable Fuses – If you still have any of these old porcelain rewireable fuses in your switchboard then you really should get an electrician out to upgrade them to RCD Safety Switches. The problem with fuses is that they offer no protection against electric shock. What’s more, they’re designed to protect your cables from catching on fire but they are actually one of the leading causes of house fires because people who aren’t properly trained often install the wrong size fuse wire. Additionally, these fuses are all so old now that they almost certainly have severe signs of wear and tear which also can cause fires through bad contacts sparking.
- Circuit Breakers, but No Safety Switches – Think that your switchboard is A-OK because you have circuit breakers installed? Well did you know that circuit breakers have been forbidden on power and light circuits since 2001? It has long been a legal requirement for light and power circuits to have a RCD Safety Switch protecting them. The reason for this is that circuit breakers only offer the same level of protection as the old rewireable fuses (reducing likelihood of overload and fire), but they offer no protection against electric shock to humans and pets, which is of course even more important than saving the house!
- Faulty Earth System – The earthing system in a house is sometimes described as the ‘safety wire’ as it is where faulty or incorrect currents flow and allow RCD SAfety switches and circuit breakers to turn off when there is a short circuit or a faulty appliance. Without a fully functional earthing system, you and your family could be in very real danger. Many houses have either a damaged, corroded or just simply undersized main earthing conductors. When a MetElec technician assess your switchboard, he or she will always check on the earthing system of the house and present their recommendations.
- Flammable Switchboard Enclosure – It was very common for switchboards to be installed in a timber box with timber doors on the front of them to hide the messy wiring and look of electrical equipment. The problem is that as switchboards are where most house fires start, if you have a few wires catch on fire, then the whole box goes up in flames just adding fuel to the fire! Timber enclosures have long since been banned under Australian Wiring Standards (AS/NZS 3000:2018) and even worse than the timber is the fact that they were almost always lined with Asbestos Sheet Fibro. For these reasons, MetElec specialise in removing these old enclosures safely and installing steel switchboard enclosures that are custom made to your size and colour preference.
So if you’re not 100% sure about the quality of your switchboard and its enclosure, Call MetElec today for an electrical checkup and protect your investment AND your family from electrocution and fire.