Updated: Nov 4, 2022
An electrical fuse is a device that helps protect your home or business from an overload of electricity. Fuses are designed to "blow" or melt when too much current flows through them, interrupting the flow of electricity and preventing fires. However, if your fuse panel is old or outdated, it may not be able to provide adequate protection for your property.
Overpowered fuse boards are a common problem in older homes and buildings and can lead to severe damage if not addressed.
This image shows what happens when an overpowered electric shower on a lower-rated cable overheats. As you can see, the result is a potential fire hazard as the wiring is incorrect.
Fuse boards for domestic homes should now be metal fire-rated encased fuse boards with RCD (Residual Current Device) protection.
What are RCDs?
An RCD, or residual current device, is a life-saving device designed to prevent fatal electric shocks if you touch a live object, such as a bare wire. Additionally, it can offer some protection against electrical fires. RCDs provide a level of personal safety that standard fuses and circuit breakers cannot.
An RCD continuously monitors the electric current that flows through the circuits it is designed to protect. Suppose it unintentionally detects electricity flowing down a path, such as through a person who has touched a live component. In that case, the RCD will quickly shut down the circuit, significantly reducing the risk of death or severe injury.
There are various RCD types to keep your tenants safe, such as:
Fixed RCDs: A fixed RCD offers the most protection because it safeguards all the wiring and sockets on a circuit and any connected equipment.
Socket-Outlet RCDs: These are specialised socket outlets that include an RCD and can be utilised in place of a regular socket outlet.
Portable RCDs: These plug into any standard outlet. The appliance can then be connected to the RCD. When neither fixed nor socket-outlet RCDs are available, they are helpful.
RCDs are highly reliable, but they must be tested regularly. The risk of electric shock reduces if you have fixed RCD protection. It can also protect your home from fires caused by faulty wiring or appliances.
Electrical safety and compliance are an essential part of landlords' and homeowners' duties of care for fire safety. Contact us on 0800 014 6728 or book our services online.