Electro Technical Council of Ireland

Latest News from ETCI

Push the button - on the hour!

Pushing a button this weekend could save a life. Householders and businesses have been asked to use the occasion of the switch to winter time to carry out a simple safety test.

ETCI strongly urges householders and workplaces to regularly check that their Residual Current Devices (RCDs) are working correctly. ETCI recommends that RCDs are checked at least twice yearly. An ideal time to do this is at the spring and autumnal equinox time change, e.g. when the clocks change to winter time this weekend.

RCDs, also known as earth leakage circuit breakers or safety switches, are essential for electrical safety and can prevent electrocution. They can be found on the electrical distribution boards in houses and workplaces.

The design of RCDs means they immediately switch electricity off when electricity "leaking" to earth is detected at a level harmful to a person using electrical equipment. Regularly checking RCDs using the test button provided is essential to ensuring they are working correctly.

The warning is issued in time with the changing of the clocks. The message is clear: "For your sake as well as family members and fellow workers use the changing clocks back an hour as a reminder to check your RCD".

The video clip "RCDs Saving Lives" which can be viewed from the ETCI web site homepage explains the purpose and operation of RCDs, where they are to be found and how to test them.