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Plug Into Safety - Use RCDs to protect yourself, protect your family, and protect your home!

  2010-11-29         admin         Safety » Electrical Safety
Did you notice the Plug Into Safety campaign by ESC(Electrical Safety Council)? We have previously introduced the RCDs(The RCDs explained: What is a Residual Current Device? What types of RCDs are available?) - this article is a reminder to using RCDs everywhere in the house. Remember: Electricity kills. Government statistics show that most fires in UK homes are caused by electrical products and installations. Electricity is now the major cause of accidental fires in UK homes. Actually, most of these accidents could have been prevented by using the RCD protection, yet more than half of us in the UK - that's almost 13 million homes - don't have it!

The simple tips / checks suggested by ESC in order to "Plug Into Safety", the checking of your electrics and taking some small precautions, would be:

  • Please avoid using any faulty or damaged electrical appliances, lighting fitting and switches / sockets.
  • Do consider upgrading to a modern fusebox with built-in RCDs or get a plug-in RCD from your local DIY store or garden centre / Sparks Electrical Wholesalers - an RCD plugin / RCD protected socket can save your life!
  • If you have any doubt about electrical safety in your home or if your electrics keep tripping, contact a registered electrician to check them out.

Plug into Safety - What is an RCD?

The most simple definition is that an RCD is a life-saving device that protects you against dangerous electric shock and reduces the risk of electrical fires. The short term "RCD" stands for Residual Current Device. The RCD is a sensitive switching device that quickly turns the electricity off when danger arises to reduce the risk of death or serious injury. RCD protection is particularly important when using electrical equipment outdoors.

Plug into Safety - What type of RCD should I use?

  • The RCD in your fusebox - this RCD will give the highest level of protection to your family / home as it covers all the wiring, the sockets and the appliances on a specific circuit.
  • The Plug-in RCD - can be plugged into any socket to offer you protection if a problem arises when using a particular appliance. These plug-in RCDs are available from most home-improvement stores and garden centres - and you can purchase them via the Electrical items on our website.
Most of us heard about the RCDs and we use them(many moved into their new house that was already equipped with such electrical safety devices, or their electrician made sure these electrical safety measures were already taken), but just in case you never heard about the RCDs, you're not the only one! In a recent survey a third of respondents said they knew what an RCD was - however we know that many people confuse them with circuit breakers, which offer nowhere near the same level of safety protection.

The RCD protection devices have been around for many years now, but not until recently the need of fitting these devices has been so urgent. Actually there has not been any legal requirements to fit the RCD protection devices into the old properties, so you usually find them in the new built homes / properties. With the increasing number of electrical devices we all use in the home and outdoors in the garden, we need to consider electrical safety more. As ESC says it, Get an RCD - it could save your life!