What are safety switches?
Safety switches are used to open and close a circuit as a disconnecting means for service entrance or to facilitate lock-out/tag-out procedures for motors and other critical power systems equipment.
In today’s world it’s a high priority to create a safer environment for everyone close to and working on electrical equipment. With this intention, safety switches have evolved to offer more robust protection for equipment and personnel. When equipment requires maintenance, safety switches manufacturers make it quick and easy to disconnect and/or reconnect the power. With the power disconnected, operators can safely work on the equipment downstream; there’s no need to worry about coming in contact with live voltage.
Safety switches are a necessity in all commercial and industrial applications, per the National Electrical Code (NEC) established by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). According to NEC article 430.102B, a safety switch must be located in sight from all motors or manufacturing equipment. The NEC defines “in sight” as visible and not more than 50 feet from the equipment it controls. A safety switch can also be used at the service entrance, which is a point at which electricity first enters a building. This allows for power to be disconnected from a whole building at one time.