Your fusebox holds the secret to the control and distribution of the electricity in your house. It’s important to know where it is in case you ever need to turn off the electricity due to an emergency, and in general it’s safer for you to understand how it works so you don’t make any mistakes and are better prepared to deal with emergency electrical situations.

The fusebox is sometimes locate din the garage or outside the main house. Sometimes they’re inside the house, however.

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Once you’ve found the box, you have to see if it’s a Fuse or Circuit box. The difference lies in whether you see round, glass topped shapes or small tubes with metal ends. If you see either, you’re looking at fuses. If there’s switches that you can toggle, you’re looking at a circuit breaker box.

If you’ve got a fuse box, you might want to go to the hardware store and purchase a few extra fuses just in case one fails. Be sure to pick fuses with the proper amperage (amperage is the measure of the amount of electricity that an electrical appliance uses).

It also makes sense to keep a flashlight near your fusebox, and to make sure that flashlight’s batteries work and are fully charged. It’s also helpful to keep some rubber gloves near the fusebox.

So contained within your fusebox is a main switch, fuses and/or circuit breakers, and Residual Current Devices.

The main switch allows you to turn off the electricity supply to your home. You might have more than one main switch if your home has electric storage heaters or something of the like. In that case, you may have a separate fusebox.

The residual current devices are switches that trip a circuit under dangerous conditions, instantly disconnecting the electricity.

The circuit breakers are automatic protection devices in tech fusebox that switch off a circuit it they detect a fault. They’re about the same size as the fuses but give more precise protection so that only the faulty circuit is switched off and you don’t lose access to the electricity in your entire house. When they ‘trip’, you can just reset the switch once you correct the fault and everything should function swimmingly.

circuit breakerSometimes instead of circuit breakers you’ll find fuses, which are rewirable and have a special fuse wire running between two screws. When a fault or overload flows through the fuse wire, it heats and melts, breaking the circuit and disconnecting the faulty circuit. This is the easiest way to keep you safe.

If and when a fuse blows, the first thing you should probably do is unplug all appliances that are plugged in to receive electricity from the overloaded circuit. Then be sure to turn the main breaker off within the box. This is very important for your safety! Toggle the main On/Off switch to the “Off” position. Find and wear your gloves when working in the fuze box and remove any jewelry, and also be sure to wear rubber-soled shoes. If you need a ladder to reach the panel, use a non-conductive wood or fiberglass one.

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