Fireman's switch

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The Phoenix, Spilsby On the cinema façade is the Fireman's Switch, presumably to turn all the electrics off.
Switch used to shut off petrol pumps at a petrol station in the event of a fire

The fireman switch is a specialized switch disconnector/isolator. These switches can often be seen on the outside wall of shops, industries or commercial buildings. They are used by firemen to turn off neon lighting or other electrical equipment in case of fire to prevent the overheated equipment from exploding. To be effective and safe, they should:

  • Be robust & reliable design in non-flammable material like aluminum.
  • Be a highly visible color, like red
  • Have clearly indicated on & off positions on the front side
  • Have an operating handle is designed in such a way that a fireman-hook or axe can be used to switch off
  • To reset, a so-called "two hands grip" must be used for safety reasons. The interlocking mechanism prevents accidental maneuvers
  • Be easy to install and to operate. Possible to add on an auxiliary contact.
  • (In the UK) They must comply with IEC 60947-3 and BS 7671.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Fireman Switch: Enclosed Switches" (PDF). ABB. Retrieved 6 January 2012.