The brand that first introduced the safety switch into Australian homes is heralding the next era of electrical protection devices for the home with the introduction of the Arc Fault Detection Device (AFDD).

Offering the newest safety innovation this device has the power to reduce chances of house electrical fires caused by arc faults.

Broken wires, loose connections, crushed cables and worn insulation can all cause hidden arc faults in electrical circuits. They usually occur in hidden places, such as damaged cord extension cords, cables inside walls or a loose connection in a hidden junction box, or socket-outlets, and are one of the main causes of electrical fires.

Dedicated to maintaining and championing industry standards, Clipsal has been at the forefront of Australian innovation for 100 years.

The Adelaide-born brand has been developing what are now known industry staple products such as Residual Current Devices (RCD), Miniature Circuit Breaker (MCB) & Smoke Alarms since 1920, next to its broad range of innovative switches, sockets and smart home solutions, bringing Australian homes to life.

Clipsal standardisation manager, Gary Busbridge, has spent 45 years of his life at the coalface of engineering and design of Australian electrical products and accessories for the brand, which was bought by Schneider Electric in 2003. 

He has overseen the introduction of a number of innovative safety solutions to the market in his career. Now, he believes the Arc Fault Detection Device is on track to become the next product to become industry standard in new homes.

“Thirty years ago it was RCD safety switches that were the new and exciting development in home electrical safety. I witnessed how those in the industry gradually became accustomed to offering and installing these,” he said.

“It took about five years for the market to gain confidence in their effectiveness and once it proved itself, became mandatory for power circuits. Over the years that product has evolved and now covers all final sub-circuits in a home as well as being required in commercial and industrial installations.”

In 2019, Macquarie University reported that more Australians are killed in house fires each year than natural disasters, thereby highlighting the need for continued development in electrical safety devices to help protect those at risk. Arc fault fires are surprisingly common in older buildings.

 “Clipsal’s new Arc Fault Detection Device is a system that’s only starting to appear on the market and is still relatively unknown among sparkies in terms of its capabilities,” Busbridge said.

“My prediction is that within the next five years the AFDD will have infiltrated the industry and eventually become a new addition to the list of mandatory safety solutions by around 2030.

“There’s no doubt an AFDD will help to reduce fires and save lives but it’ll take time to prove its value and for those in the trade to become accustomed to its efficiencies.

“At Clipsal, we are championing this new device as the gold standard of electrical protection and hopefully through our channel partners we’ll be able to see a swift uptake in the product to help cover more homes and business with more top-level care in the near future.”

Port Hacking Electrical director, David Zmuda, said he had an opportunity to use the AFDD on a switchboard upgrade project at a 1950s apartment.

He said the Clipsal AFDDs was a great fit for the project.

“They provided the ultimate protection for the installation and peace of mind to the clients that their home is as safe as possible when it comes to the risk of electrical fires,” he said.

“I was very impressed with the quality of the AFFD. They were easy to install and I’ll definitely recommend them to my colleagues and clients as an important safety upgrade for complete protection.

“I will be looking to use them in both old and newer homes and feel that in the future they will become a mainstream inclusion of all electrical installations.”

Compact and easy to install, AFDDs fit into residential and building electrical switchboards to protect a single final sub-circuit.

Miniature circuit breakers (MCBs), residual current devices (RCDs) or surge protection devices (SPDs) protect against specific electrical hazards, they are not designed to detect arc faults. An AFDD may include an MCB or MCB/RCD to make installation even easier.

To read more about how AFDDs can be used and where to place them visit:


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