Compared to other energy sources, electricity has many advantages, but also many risks. It is used daily by the general public and many accidents still occur, resulting in burns, fires, and electrocution. Dependable protective devices have been designed by carefully analyzing the risks and consequences of equipment failures or incorrect use. We must know about these devices in order to use them correctly.
Following are the electrical safety devices that can be found at home:
1. Miniature circuit breakers (MCBs)
A miniature circuit breaker is a device that switches and/or protects the lowest common distributed voltage in an electrical system. It is designed to protect conductors and insulation from damage due to overload and short circuits. Residential miniature fuses are only of the plug-in type.
These are designed for residential load centers, commercial units, and light industrial applications. They typically range from 10 to 125 amps, with an interrupting rating of 10 or 22 KAIC. Miniature circuit breaker construction is simple, yet very precise. A miniature circuit breaker has no replacement parts. Miniature circuit breakers are typically available in single-pole and double-pole types. A pole is a hot conductor. A single-pole breaker disconnects one conductor, and a double-pole breaker disconnects two conductors.
2. Residual current devices (RCDs)
An RCD can detect low leakage currents that could flow through the body of a person. It thus provides additional protection if the normal protection means failure, e.g. old or damaged insulation, human error, etc. This can also be referred to as ultimate protection because it can interrupt the current even if the other devices have failed.
3. Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs)
Ground fault circuit interrupter has a solid-state trip unit. It detects ground currents (which are small short circuits from one phase to the ground) and trips to protect both people and equipment. Two types are available in the miniature line. These are:
This breaker type automatically senses hot wire to ground faults and trips the breaker when a ground fault exists. It is most commonly used in bathrooms, kitchens, swimming pool areas, and outdoor receptacles. It senses ground faults at 5 milliamps, a level low enough to protect people.
This breaker type is designed to protect equipment against damage from arcing ground faults. It is typically applied to computers, process control, and heating equipment. The circuit breaker trips at 30 milliamps.
4. Arc fault circuit breakers (AFCBs)
Like standard circuit breakers, AFCI circuit breakers are designed to open a circuit when an overload or short circuit is sensed. However, an arc fault typically will not generate enough fault current to trip a standard circuit breaker. Only an AFCI circuit breaker incorporates circuitry that continuously monitors voltage and current to arc faults. When it detects an arc fault, an AFCI circuit breaker opens the circuit, stopping the flow of current.
5. Surge protection devices (SPDs)
Surge protection devices should ensure that surge voltages (such as lighting and utility power anomalies) do not cause damage to installations, equipment, or end devices. Surge protective devices (SPDs) chiefly fulfill two tasks: Limit the surge voltage in terms of amplitude so that the dielectric strength of the devices is not exceeded. Discharge the surge currents associated with surge voltages to a distant ground. Transient over-voltages whether caused by lighting or by electrical switching have similar effects on electronic equipment. Therefore, it is important to install a surge protective device.
6. Whole house surge protectors
Homes today contain an average of over $15,000 worth of unprotected equipment. Lightning storms get a bad rap for causing power surges, but did you know most surges come from inside the home? 80% of residential surges are caused by devices you use every day, including your hairdryer, your A/C unit, and even garage door openers. Every single time you turn on a high-powered device, it forms a mini-surge in your home’s electrical circuitry that reduces the life expectancy of your appliances. Over time, these mini surges can damage the circuit boards in appliances and electronics and may cause them to fail or not operate properly. This device reduces surges that might otherwise overwhelm plug strips and damage connected household equipment. It also provides surge suppression for important items.
7. Self-closing outlet covers
There’s nothing to think about once you install this child-friendly outlet cover. Self-closing outlet covers provide a permanent solution to prevent children from electrical hazards from conventional outlet plugs, allowing you to have peace of mind while your children explore your home.
8. Safety plastic caps
With safety caps, you reduce the risk of your child sticking their fingers and other things into the wall socket. They’re usually designed to be difficult to pull off (for you and your child). Installation is a simple matter of just pushing these into each outlet.
9. Smoke detectors and alarms
Smoke detectors sense abnormal amounts of smoke or invisible combustion gases in the air. They can detect both smoldering and burning fires. At least one smoke detector should be installed on every level of a structure. Smoke alarms should be tested at least once every month to ensure that both the batteries and the units themselves are still working.
10. Cable management systems
Cable management is essential to creating a visually pleasing and clean work environment. Managing cables helps to protect humans and devices. Using cable trays, zip ties, cable sleeves, cable clips, heat shrink tubing, etc.. makes your life easier and safer.