Where do hazards lurk?
Be careful with the cords of electric lawnmowers and other power tools, always keeping the cord behind your direction of movement. Never operate electrical equipment in the rain. All outdoor power outlets around your home must be protected by a 30mA Residual Current Device (RCD).
Faulty or broken outlets present a significant risk of electric shock. Have your electrician replace any broken or loose outlets immediately. Socket outlets must be equipped with automatic shutters, secured by screws in the flush box and have high shock resistance. All outlets should be protected by a 30mA Residual Current Device (RCD).
Hot water systems, washing machines, and ovens all have large sheet metal surfaces. If there are any internal defects, the slightest touch of their exterior surface could be hazardous or even deadly. Ensure all large appliances (e.g. hot water system) are earthed via the green-yellow wire.
Turning off the light switch does not make it safe to change a lightbulb. Always unplug the device from the power outlet, or disconnect it at the switchboard. Wall switches do not provide the necessary safety conditions. All lighting circuits in your home must be protected by a 30mA Residual Current Device (RCD).
Lighting, alarm clocks and other portable devices can easily be knocked or dropped against hard surfaces. If this happens, the casings may crack, potentially exposing dangerous wiring and other parts. All mobile and other portable devices must bear the ‘Class II’ symbol.
The bathroom is the most dangerous room in the home because when your skin is wet it’s extremely sensitive to electric current. Dry hands thoroughly before handling an appliance, and never use one that is damaged. All switches and outlets in a bathroom must be protected by a 30mA Residual Current Device (RCD).
RCDs: Your ultimate protection from electrocution
• Power outlets
• All devices in bathrooms and wet areas
Check your switchboard for RCDs, which are easy to identify, having:
• A white pushbutton
• A "30mA" marking
If there are RCDs fitted in your switchboard, check if they are working by pushing the ‘Test’ button. The RCD should trip.
If you don’t see any RCDs fitted, you need to upgrade your switchboard with RCDs to ensure the highest level of protection throughout your home.
RCDs can be RCCB or RCBO devices
The most vital RCD installations
2 or 3 RCDs in your switchboard prevent the entire home from being blacked-out in case of tripping. Use dedicated RCDs for outdoor circuits as they are more likely to trip during bad weather.
For critical loads like fridges and freezers, a specific RCD will prevent them from being tripped due to hazards on other loads in the home.
RCDs can be RCCB or RCBO devices.
Four areas in your home that need your attention
1. Consumer unitYour consumer unit protects your home from electrical fires caused by short-circuits and overloads.
For your safety, your consumer unit must be:
• Sheltered from water
• Made from high quality materials
• Highly resistant to shocks
There should not be any holes that are large enough to insert a tool or finger. There should also be a closing cover to protect all circuit breakers. Teamed with RCDs, your consumer unit can now also protect your family from electrocution.
2. Switches and outlets
All switches and outlets in your home must be protected by a 30mA Residual Current Device (RCD).
> Check out our switches and socket ranges
Replace faulty components:
Replace any outlets, light fittings, extension leads and appliances that are showing any signs of wear and tear, including cracks, sticking or lose switches, and split or crushed electrical leads.
Safety first :
If you do this on your own, always wear protective gloves, use insulated tools, and switch the power off at the consumer unit.
Alternatively, find your nearest Electrician Partner to carry out the work for you > Partner Locator
* Schneider Electric cannot accept liability for any work carried out by an Electrician Partner.
3. Lighting devices
Lighting devices of Class II luminaire construction with double or reinforced insulation must have the Class II symbol engraved on them (refer to BS EN 60598-1).
Metal structured chandeliers must be linked to a "protective earth" via the “green-yellow” wire.
Under the current BS 7671:2008 regulations, consideration must be given to whether 30 mA RCD protection is required for a lighting circuit. It depends on several factors, including the part of the premises under consideration and the type and routing of the wiring system (see Section 522 and Part 7). It is anticipated that new regulation 411.3.4 of the 18th Edition of BS 7671 will require additional protection for AC final circuits supplying luminaires within domestic premises by an RCD with a rated residual operating current not exceeding 30 mA
A bathroom or shower room is a location of increased risk of electric shock due to large areas of the body being exposed, contact of the skin with water, bodily contact with earthed metalwork, and adverse environmental conditions for electrical equipment.
However, a correctly designed and installed electrical installation in a bathroom should be no less safe than any other room in the home. Refer to BS 7671:2008 Amendment 3:2015 Section 701 ‘Locations containing a bath or shower’ for zone details, and Figures 701.1 and 701.2 for correct zone dimensions
Volume 0: No electrical parts at all
Volume 1: within reach from the bath or shower with arms up
• Only 12V isolated fittings (SELV* supply)
Volume 2: maximum reach from the bath or shower
• Transformer isolated sockets (“razor” type)
• Class II insulated lighting and heaters
How to get support from your electrician
If your home’s circuitry is more than 5 years old, trust your local electrician to carry out a full check. They know the rules and best practices inside-out.
Ask your electrician about Schneider Electric RCDs, and get the best protection to ensure your home’s electrical safety.