Does Your Home Have Safety Switches

Does Your Home Have Safety Switches?

Does your home have safety switches? If you have no idea what safety switches are or if your home even has any then keep reading to learn.  Safety switches are connected to the wiring in your home and they will cut the power to faulty wiring.  They can do this in under a second and that ensure that nothing bad happens, such as fires or getting electrocuted when you turn on your lights.  New homes have them built in but if you just bought an older Craftsman or Victorian home then it might be time to have the wiring looked at.  Safety switches must be put in by an electrician, this isn’t a project that you do on your own.

What Do they Do?

When your wiring is working as it should be there is the same amount of current flowing back and forth between the circuits going to your outlets and appliances.  When something goes wrong the safety switch will cut off the electricity for safety reasons.  That saves you and your family from getting hurt or worse. There are a couple of reasons that your safety switches can kick in, including the following.

  • Bad Wiring: In an older home the wiring can degrade with time, rodents can get between the walls and chew on the wiring or it is too old to handle the demand of modern appliances.  That can cause the current to fluctuate, making the safety switches kick in.  When they don’t work or your home doesn’t have them then you are at greater risk of an electrical fire.
  • Old Appliances: Old appliances aren’t energy efficient and draw a lot of electricity, when there is a problem with them they can leak electrical current and that will turn your safety switches on. You will probably notice it the most with old dryers or stoves.
  • Power Surges: Power surges happen during electrical storms, your home or the power grid can be hit by lightning and that sends excess electricity through your home. Safety switches can stop a power surge before it damages your appliances.

Installing Safety Switches

If you home was built within the last 10 years then you don’t have to worry about safety switches, you already have them installed. If you own an older home then it is time to talk to an electrician about getting them installed in your home.  You should also have them tested at regular intervals to make sure that they are working as they should.  At the same time make sure that all of your major appliances are working properly and there is no frayed electrical cords or anything that could cause shorts.