RCDs: Your ultimate protection from electrocution
Residual current devices (RCDs) detect electrocution currents and cut power off immediately. They are now mandatory according to the electrical safety standard, IEC 60634 on all circuits supplying:
- Power outlets
- All devices in bathrooms and wet areas
Check your switchboard for RCDs, which are easy to identify, having:
- A Test pushbutton Marked “T”
- A “30mA” marking
If there are RCDs fitted in your fuseboard, 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 fusebox 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.
Four areas in your home that need your attention
1. Consumer unit
Your 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).
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.
Always use a qualified Electrician for all your electrical work. N.Brown Electrical will be more than happy to carryout even the smallest task, keeping you, your property and the public safe from all electrical hazards.
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 605981).
Metal structured chandeliers must be linked to a “protective earth” via the “green-yellow” wire.
Under the current BS 7671:2018 regulations It is now a requirement in domestic households for additional protection for AC final circuits supplying luminaires 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. ‘Locations containing a bath or shower’ have zone details as listed below.
Zone 0: No electrical parts at all
Zone 1: within reach from the bath or shower with arms up
• Only 12V isolated fittings (SELV* supply)
Zone 2: maximum reach from the bath or shower
• Transformer isolated sockets (“razor” type)
• Class II insulated lighting and heaters