An RCD is a sensitive safety device that protects against electrocution and house fires by switching off automatically if it senses a fault. It works by constantly monitoring the current flowing through its circuit, switching off in a fraction of a second if it detects electricity flowing down an unintended path (such as through a person touching a live wire), thus dramatically reducing the risk of death or injury.

There are three types of RCD:

  • FIXED RCDS are installed in the fusebox and provide the highest level of protection, for all wiring, sockets and appliances on that circuit.
  • SOCKET OUTLET RCDS are used in place of a standard socket outlets, and provide protection only to the person in contact with the appliance plugged into this outlet.
  • PORTABLE RCDS plug into a standard socket-outlet and provide protection only to the person in contact with the appliance plugged into this outlet. They are a great temporary solution when fixed or socket-outlet RCDs are not available.

RCDs are around 97% reliable, with increased reliability with regular testing every few months for fixed and socket-outlet, and every use for portable RCDs.