Protecting your family

The Australian electricity network is one of the safest in the world. It has a series of legislation, regulation, standards and codes governing how the network is to be built to ensure the safety of our customers. At M.J.Harris Electrical we take these standards and codes very seriously and our team of qualified Electricians work accordingly to help ensure the protection of your loved ones, around power in your home. We offer the following services and can install the following products in your home to ensure you, your family and valuable belongings are fully protected.

Earth wires
Earth wires are your life-lines, conveying electricity from a faulty appliance through the wire to earth and back to the source through the neutral wires rather than through your body. If a fault occurs, power will flow to the earth by the shortest and easiest path. So if an appliance is not properly earthed, the power could flow through it and then through any person touching or using it, causing serious injury or even death.

The MEN system
The Multiple Earthed Neutral (MEN) system captures stray current and provides a safe path for the electricity to flow back into the electricity network or to earth. To achieve this, the earth wires and neutral wires are interconnected at the meter box and are then connected to an earth rod, driven in the ground. The MEN system is essential to ensure the safe operation of protection devices in your home such as circuit breakers, fuses, safety switches and residual current devices (RCD’s).

This system ensures the electricity stays within the circuit and does not flow through you to earth. A break in the MEN system could result in electric shock or electrocution and can affect the performance of other safety features in your home meter box.

Circuit breakers and fuses
Circuit breakers and fuses are designed to stop the supply of electricity at your meter box when too much current is flowing through your electrical wiring. This form of protection prevents damage to electrical cables, appliances and fittings in your home from overloading and short-circuiting. Surge protection acts as a safeguard against spikes in electrical voltage. You can opt to have surge protection installed in your meter box to protect your appliances against spikes in voltages which can be caused by lightning storms. Circuit breakers, fuses and surge protection are designed to prevent electrical fires and costly damages. They will not prevent electrocution or electric shocks.

Safety switches (residual current devices)
Safety switches, also known as RCDs, stop the supply of power to a circuit if it detects an earth leakage. They are designed to detect imbalances of electrical current by measuring the electricity flowing into and out of a circuit. If these devices detect an earth leakage they will immediately cut the supply of electricity.

Safety switches are more sensitive than fuses and circuit breakers and are your best defense to prevent electrocution. To ensure your safety and the safety of your family it is encouraged that you have a safety switch installed on your meter box. All homes built after 1992 must have a safety switch installed in the meter box.

Safety switches are also available as a portable plug in adaptors for household electrical appliances for both indoor and outdoor use. This will provide you with protection against faults or damages to the appliance that is plugged into the safety switch and should be considered when conducting work in damp locations such as around swimming pools or in the garden. Similar to circuit breakers, fuses and surge protection, safety switches will also protect against electrical fires and property damage caused by faults in appliances and wiring.

If you have any other electrical safety concerns on your home that aren’t listed above please contact the M.J.Harris Electrical team on 03 9431 1177 to provide you with a Home Safety Inspection.