Safety switches, surge diverters and circuit breakers

What's the difference?

Safety switches are often confused with circuit breakers and surge diverters. It is important to understand the differences between these three devices:

Safety switches monitor the flow of electricity through a circuit and detect a problem that may pose a risk to personal safety and turn the power off within 0.03 of a second. Safety switches always have a test button and 30ma printed on them. They are also sometimes labelled with the words "safety switch".(see picture on right)

Surge diverters protect the property from voltage surges such as those resulting from a lightning strike. The surge diverter captures the voltage spikes in the wiring that would otherwise be transferred into the equipment within the property.

Circuit breakers provide short-circuit and overcurrent protection such as when a power point is overloaded.

Surge diverters and circuit breakers do not act as safety switches for personal protection against electric shock. Safety switches are not a substitute for common sense!

If you are unsure if a safety switch is installed at your property, contact Turn It On Electrics.

This information is taken directly from