On 29 March 2023, the electrical safety rental minimum standard commenced in Victoria.
The electrical safety standard requires that rental properties must have modern-style switchboards, with circuit breakers and electrical safety switches installed. Electrical safety switches are correctly known as residual current devices (RCD, RCCB or RCBO).
Rental providers are responsible for ensuring their rental property complies with the electrical safety standard by engaging a licensed or registered electrician.
There are significant risks and penalties if properties are not compliant on or before 29 March 2023.
Safety switches are designed to prevent injury or death by monitoring the flow of electricity through a circuit. Safety switches can detect a problem that may pose a risk to personal safety and turn the power off within 0.03 of a second. This stops the chance of electrical current flowing through a person to earth and electrocuting them.
Installing a safety switch is an inexpensive safety measure that protects you, your family and visitors to your property.
What needs to happen?
The rented premises can meet the new minimum standard if the electrician adds circuit breaker components to the power outlets and lighting circuits, without the need to add to or modify the circuit protection to other circuits (such as fixed cooking equipment, hot water units or air-conditioning circuits).
The circuit breaker components include:
- an overcurrent circuit breaker and a residual current device (RCDs), or
- an overcurrent circuit breaker and residual current operated circuit-breakers without integral overcurrent protection (RCCBs), or
- a residual current operated circuit-breaker with integral overcurrent protection (RCBOs).
Some properties do not have circuit breaker-type switchboards, such as older properties that have a panel and fuse board or a federal fuse board.
With these older type fuse boards, an electrician may not have the option of adding circuit breaker components (such as RCDs, RCCBs or RCBOs) and may have to replace the entire switchboard to ensure the rented premises meets the electrical safety standard. In this case, circuit breaker components will be required for all the circuits at the switchboard, including fixed cooking equipment, hot water units and air-conditioning circuits.