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Home Living : March 23rd 2010
4HLW-HOMELIVING:WEST,Tuesday,March23,2010 Smart ways » ADVERTISING FEATURE HOMELIVING ●● ●● The Federal Government’s insulation program has dramatically highlighted the problem of homes without life- saving safety switches. Archicentre, the building advisory service of the Australian Institute of Architects, urges homebuyers to ensure that residual current devices (RCDs) electrical safety switches are installed in any home they buy. Archicentre ACT and NSW state manager Angus Kell said an electrical safety switch monitors the flow of electricity through a circuit. It detects a problem as soon as the current leaves the circuit, and turns the power off within 0.03sec. This is quick enough to help save your life and prevent fires. Archicentre carries out more than 20,000 pre-purchase home inspections and design concepts each year, and is concerned about the number of inspected homes found with electrical faults in a survey of more than 100,000 homes over 10 years. Victoria tops the list of electrical faults in the homes inspected with 34 per cent, followed closely by NSW with 32 per cent, South Australia 31 per cent, Tasmania 25 per cent, Western Australia 22 per cent and Queensland 21 per cent. Mr Kell said a tell-tale sign of poor wiring in a home was burn marks on power points. He said new homes and renovations by law have to install the safety switches to minimise the risk of electrocution. However, the problem occurs in older and heritage-style homes. ‘‘I f you are having an electrician alter the wiring on an existing home – for example, putting in extra power points for new appliances – Archicentre suggests the electrician also installs safety switches in the main switchboard for your protection, ’’ he said. 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