EMA and HDB require homeowners to install a residual circuit breaker

Homeowners must have a residual current circuit breaker from 1 July. This is an electrical safety device that cuts off electricity supply immediately after current leakages are detected which may lead to an electric shock.

Current leakages are caused by a myriad of factors including faulty electrical appliances, exposed and old wires, and damaged insulation.

Since July 1985, all new electrical installations (including homes) have required this device. Before this, all private housing and HDB flats were given fuses to protect against current overload in appliances and circuits.

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“Over the years, most residential premises would have undergone renovations, and had their electrical circuits rewired and installed with a residual current circuit breaker in line with this requirement,” stated EMA and HDB.

However, there are still homes built before 1985 that are using their original electrical circuits with the installed device.

HDB said that around 1.3% of one and two-room flats completed in and before 1985 do not have residual circuit breakers, and an estimated 83 units will be installed with this device during the exercise.

Meanwhile, 2% of three-room and larger flats completed in the same period do not have this device installed.

“Owners of private residential premises would have over the years been likely to have renovated their premises (and carried out re-wiring works) since the 1985 regulations requiring the installation of residual current circuit breakers were introduced.”

To give support to lower-income households without the device, HDB has been installing the protective devices in one and two-room HDB flats completed in and before 1985. For three-room and larger flats, HDB will send a notice to these homeowners regarding the assistance program.

After the two-year grace period, EMA or its appointed agent will do random enforcement checks on pre-1985 private homes and flats. Those found without the breaker will be issued a written warning and face a penalty of up to S$5,000.

“All homeowners are encouraged to test their residual current circuit breaker regularly to ensure that it is in good working condition,” shared EMA and HDB.

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