Fall Back Into Electrical Safety

16 October 2008

Test your RCD this Autumn

Don’t be left in the dark when it comes to electrical safety. Take advantage of the clocks turning back on the weekend of 26th/27th October to test your RCD, says safety charity the Electrical Safety Council.

Around half of us have an RCD (residual current device) installed in our electric fusebox in our homes and this life-saving device helps to protect us from electric shock and electrocution by cutting off the electricity supply if a fault is detected. To make sure it’s working properly, an RCD must be tested regularly, ideally every three months. But, testing it switches off the electricity in the home momentarily causing electric clocks to need resetting. This inconvenience factor contributes to the fact the only 26% of people test their RCD on a regularly basis, putting themselves and their families at unnecessary risk.

Phil Buckle, Director of Charitable Affairs at the Electrical Safety Council, explains:“An RCD can save lives but, like a smoke alarm, needs to be tested regularly to ensure it works properly. Our research shows that householders don’t test their RCDs enough, partly because of the nuisance caused by having to reset the clocks. So we are encouraging people to test their RCD when all the clocks will need to be changed anyway, during the last weekend in October."

“Testing is very easy and can be done by anyone simply by pressing the ‘test’ button on the RCD at the fusebox. Pressing the test button should switch off the electricity and you then switch it back on to restore the supply. If the device does not switch off the electricity supply when you press the button then it is not working properly and you should get advice from a registered electrician."

“It may seem a very small thing but testing your RCD to ensure it’s working could save your life, so take advantage of the opportunity when the clocks go back to press the test button.”

For further information contact media@electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk