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If you own a new property in Brisbane, you’re affected by this latest development in wiring rules.

As of 26th June 2018, the Standards Australia’s AS/NZS 3000:2018 Wiring Rules were updated, and along with it, some additional requirements for electricians to adhere to when they complete current and all new electrical projects in the future.

If you’re curious about just what changes were made, and more importantly, how it improves the safety of your home or property, you’re in the right place.

In this article, we’ll dissect what the updates mean for new property owners like yourself, as well as talk about some additional adjustments and add ons electricians have to be mindful of when conducting electrical projects from now on.

Let’s begin.

What Are These Standards For?

Before we jump into talking about the actual Standards and its updates, we need to first understand what these Standards do. The Standards Australia’s AS/NZS 3000:2018 Wiring Rules are a set of rules that practising electricians have to abide by when they do work.

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These Rules are there to ensure the safety and consistency of all electrical work in the country. In short, the Standards are there so your property’s electrical setup is done properly and safely.

Why Have These Standards Been Updated?

Because of the ever-changing nature of technology, the context of electrical setups in houses is very different from when the Standards were first created.

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New, complex devices are appearing on the market on a daily basis, and thus, the risk of inadequate protection from these devices if they go haywire is very real. Quite simply, the Standards in place when it first appeared might not be sufficient to protect you or other tenants from electrical shocks, or worse, death.

Therefore, a constant update of the Rules is needed to ensure that your safety is on par with these new developments in electrical appliances.

No Time To Read This Guide? Download The PDF

If you’re in a rush for time, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Download your free copy of this guide, condensed into a tidy, short PDF for your reading pleasure.

The Standards Do Not Apply To Just Electricians

If you’re wondering if your property is only affected if it’s worked on by a professional electrician like Voltora, it’s not. The Standards apply to every single household and property and is a mandatory measure that everyone must comply with.



That being said, there are still certain scenarios where you can do the electrical replacements yourself, and in other cases; hire a licensed electrician.

If you’re curious, we’ve compiled a list of these scenarios into these 2 categories:

Definitely hire a licensed electrician to do these:

  • Replacing or rewiring a plug, switch or powerpoint
  • Repairing electrical appliances (washing machines, toasters, etc)
  • Installing or altering fixed wiring
  • Installing or replacing safety switches

You may attempt to safely do yourself

  • Change an electric light bulb
  • Change the starter in a fluorescent light fitting
  • Resetting a circuit breaker or safety switch
  • Test a safety switch with the test button “T”

Now that we’ve covered what the Standards are, and who does it affect (everyone who has a property, basically), let’s dive deep into understanding what changes have been made to the Standards, exactly.

Safety Switches To Be Installed On Every Final Sub-Circuit (New Homes Only)

The first update to the Standards Australia’s AS/NZS 3000:2018 Wiring Rules is that a safety switch is now mandatory on all final sub-circuits in new domestic and residential installations.


Every year, 15 people are killed and about 300 people seriously injured in avoidable accidents at home. Installing a safety switch will help to improve the safety of circuits, especially when there is a short caused by faulty electrical appliances.

More lives could be safe from this simple update to the rule.

If you’re considering or currently building out a new house, you might want to speak to your electrician (if you already have one) to check if your current sub-circuits have safety switches installed in them.

**If you’re currently considering an electrical partner, Voltora is your obvious choice. Click here to start your Voltora Experience.

What Types Of Safety Switches Are There?

In general, there are 3 types of safety switches that can be installed in your house. Their functions differ between protecting people and protecting against fire, or both.

In this section, we’ll go through each of these safety switches in detail, so that you better understand your safety switches.


Residual Current Devices (RCDs)

Residual Current Devices are safety switches that are designed to protect you from electrocution. In short, they are safety switches that are mainly used to protect people.

In an event where you come into contact with a current, the safety switch will trip the power in milliseconds.

RCDs are most commonly found and installed in an external meter box and/or your internal switchboard.


Circuit Breakers

Circuit breakers are designed specifically to help protect against fires at home.

These miniature breakers come with an automatic electrical switch designed to cut out power from a circuit in case of overloading or a short circuit.

As you might guess, these miniature Circuit Breakers are always used alongside RCDs to provide comprehensive protection against electrical shocks and fire risks.



RCBOs combine both functions of an RCD and Circuit Breaker.

Think of it as a single device that helps you accomplish both tasks. In this case, an RCBO prevents you from getting a potentially fatal electric shock and fire hazards.

Tip: Test Your Safety Switch Every 3 Months

Assuming you already have safety switches installed on your sub-circuits at home, that’s just the beginning. 

To ensure that your safety switches are working, it is essential that you test your switches every now and then to make sure everything works as expected. Short-circuits and faulty equipment occur when we least expect it; we’d want to be adequately prepared for them.

Voltora recommends our clients to check and test their safety switches once every 3 months.  

But What About Old Homes?

If you noticed, the new Standards apply only to new or extended homes.

But this means that if you don’t intend on purchasing a new property or extending your current home, the new Standards doesn’t apply to you.

Does this mean that you don’t need to care to comply with safety switches? Of course not!

In fact, safety switches have only been mandatory in new or extended homes since 2000, and only then for a limited number of circuits.

Today, about 35% of Australian homes remain completely unprotected and only 25% have only their power circuits protected. That means that most homes don’t have safety switch protection on their air-con, stove and hot water…the list goes on.

It’s Your Responsibility

If you own a mature property or are unaffected by the changes and developments in the Standards, we strongly encourage you to upgrade your circuits to include safety switches in line with the standards.

This will keep your family and home safe from faulty devices, and unnecessary headaches from injury or worse – death – down the line.

Every householder in QLD has a legal responsibility to keep their home safe – including the way that you use electricity.


If you haven’t yet considered upgrading your circuits, speak to Voltora today, and we’ll help you design a comprehensive safety switch system that is safe, reliable, and compliant.

As a side note, whenever you make any changes to your home, the electrician you hire is legally required to add on safety switches as part of the project to protect your home.

Some situations include:

Alterations and Additions

When any alteration to an existing electrical circuit is undertaken, the electrician is legally required by the Standards to install a safety switch. For example, when you add an exhaust ceiling fan or smoke detector added to an existing circuit that is not already protected, a safety switch must be installed.

Switchboard Replacement

In addition, when all the circuit protection devices in a switchboard are replaced, additional protection by safety switches will be provided for all of the sub-circuits supplied from that switchboard.


For existing installations, where a single item of electrical equipment (eg: powerpoint, switch etc) is not protected by a safety switch, and is replaced with an equivalent item in the same location, a safety switch does not need to be installed. 

In this case, we highly recommend, in this case, that you install a safety switch for the additional safety of your home.

Why Is Voltora Writing This?


Voltora prides itself as your reliable electrical service provider, offering the highest degree of service on top of best-in-class electrical expertise. Keeping you abreast of developments in the electrical field is part of our mission towards Total Electrical Service – where you can count Voltora for any electrical advice, installation, repair or maintenance.

Protect Your Home The Right Way Today With Voltora

At Voltora, we are fully committed to helping our clients adequately protect their homes from electrical or fire damage.

Speak to our Voltora experts right now to find out how we can help you design a comprehensive, safe safety switch plan that can keep your house compliant with the latest Standards, your family safe, and your mind at peace.

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