Home Improvement Safety Tips
- When carrying out work close to your overhead electricity supply such as painting or roofing work, contact ESB Networks to shroud the wires
- When using a ladder at roof height make sure not to touch or come close to the electricity wires or connections
- If the work you are doing requires the electricity wires to be moved or altered, contact ESB Networks
- If you are getting external wall insulation see our guide (PDF | 517 KB).
If you are getting a new house wired or having existing wiring renewed or extended you must get a completion certificate from your Registered Electrical Contractor. Find a Registered Electrical Contractor on www.safeelectric.ie. This certificate is the contractor's statement that the installation complies with the National Wiring Rules. The completion certificate is also required by ESB Networks before a new supply can be connected.
For more information see the Safe Electric website and the NSAI website.
Trip switches and other essential safety features
Trip switches (RCDs), fuses and miniature circuit breakers (MCBs) are essential safety features in all homes as they make your electrical installation safe if a fault occurs.
Types of RCDs
Your fuse board or distribution
board contains the fuses or MCBs which protect individual circuits carrying
electricity to different areas of your home such as your sockets or lights.
These circuits have different size wires and consequently have different
strengths of MCBs or fuses protecting them. The strength is measured in Amps and
will be clearly marked on the MCB or fuse.
Trip switches and Residual Circuit Devices (RCD)
A trip switch or RCD detects leakages of electricity current from the circuit. Once a fault is detected, the circuit is disconnected. Trip switches/RCDs are found in the fuse board and should be tested frequently.
MCBs and Fuses
An MCB or fuse is a safety device which cuts off the flow of electricity to a circuit if a fault in the circuit or an appliance causes an overload. An MCB can be reset when the fault is identified and repaired. A blown fuse must be replaced with one of similar size.
Replacing a fuse
When you need to replace a fuse which has failed always make sure to replace it with one of the same size.
Each fuse has a small coloured disc in the base and the colour identifies the size. The colours are:
|| 6 Amp
|| 10 Amp
|| 16 Amp
|| Socket outlets - radial
|| 20 Amp
|| Water heater, storage heater
|| 35 Amp
|| Socket outlets - ring, cooker, electric shower
Table 1 - Fuse Disc colour and size