Electrical safety devices

We use electricity for many of the energy services around the house. Because of this, it is extremely important to have various safety devices to protect from fire and electrocution. Industrial electricity use has similar problems. This page examines these electrical safety devices. Namely, fuses, circuit breakers, and ground fault circuit interrupters. For more details, and pictures, please go to the main articles.


main article

A fuse is an electrical safety device that has the capability to protect a circuit from excessive current. It is designed to allow current through the circuit, but in the event that the current exceeds some maximum value it will open, severing the circuit.

Circuit breaker

main article

Circuit breakers are devices that protect circuits from overload current conditions. They do the same job as fuses, but they are not destroyed when activated. They are more expensive to put in than fuses, but since components rarely need to be replaced may be cheaper in the long term. Circuit breakers are often considered safer since the user can't as easily disable them (like putting the wrong size fuse in place).

Ground fault circuit interrupt

ground fault circuit interrupter

A ground fault circuit interrupt is a device designed to detect a tiny mismatch in currents (going into and out of the circuit), in order to prevent electrocution. They are mandatory in bathrooms and kitchens, and anywhere else in a house where water may come in contact with an electric circuit.[1]


  1. R.T. Paynter, “Basic Electric Components and Meters,” in Introduction to Electricity, 1rst ed. NJ: Prentice-Hall, 2011, ch. 8, sec. 8.2, pp. 341-346.

Authors and Editors

Jordan Hanania, Braden Heffernan, James Jenden, Kailyn Stenhouse, Jasdeep Toor, Jason Donev