We have all seen the cartoons where someone receives an electric shock, their hair stands on end, sparks radiate around the body, they are suspended in the air and we see their skeleton! However funny this may seem when we were kids watching Scooby Doo, a real electric shock can cause serious injury or kill.
A severe electric shock can cause you to collapse, have muscle contractions and paralyse the respiratory system affecting the heart
An estimated 2.5 million people in the UK have or will receive an electric shock of some magnitude at some point within the calendar year. The most common cause of an electric shock in the home is via faulty wiring or an appliance.
This is why I see that it is important that every household has an RCD unit fitted. RCDs (Residual Current Devices) are designed to prevent you from getting a fatal electric shock. An RCD constantly monitors the electric current flowing through one or more circuits it is designed to protect. If it detects electricity flowing down an unintended path, such as through a person who has touched a live part, the RCD will switch the circuit off very quickly (within 0.04 seconds), significantly reducing the risk of death or serious injury.
Whilst I recommend a fixed RCD unit, I will explain all RCD’s available on the market:
These are installed in the consumer unit (fusebox) and can provide protection to individual or groups of circuits. A fixed RCD provides the highest level of protection as it protects all the wiring and the sockets on a circuit, and any connected appliances.
These are special socket-outlets with an RCD built into them which can be used in place of a standard socket-outlet. This type of RCD provides protection only to the person in contact with equipment, including its lead, plugged into the special socket-outlet.
These plug into any standard socket-outlet. An appliance can then be plugged into the RCD. They are useful when neither fixed nor socket-outlet RCDs are available but, as with socket-outlet RCDs, they provide protection only to the person in contact with the equipment, including its lead, plugged into the portable RCD.
Obviously costs vary depending on the type of RCD unit but we can never underestimate the cost of yours of a loved one’s life. An MK RCD Consumer Unit unit can be fitted and certified for a cost of around £300 and will offer the best protection for your house.