Tilt Switches As Safety Devices

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Written By Berry Mathew

Tilt switches are often used to monitor levels and control open and close mechanisms based on movement and angular pitch of a switch, but tilt switches provide safety functions as well. In fact, many construction vehicles and pieces of manufacturing equipment feature tilt switches to alert users when unsafe operating levels have been reached. This functionality is found in various lift and bucket vehicles, and it can also be useful in monitoring vertical masts.


If you’re looking for a wide selection of tilt switches to incorporate into your own designs or to replace malfunctioning switches on your equipment, Select Controls is an online supplier of tilt switch solutions. Design professionals and building engineers can specify tilt switches from Select Controls to get the parts they need fast. Additionally, Select Controls is a tilt switch manufacturer specializing in tilt trim switch components and adjustable tilt switch solutions.

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Remote Monitoring Controls Provide Fast Alerts

In the past, tilt switches would be used to cut a power supply when triggered. This could happen manually by flipping a switch to cause the angle of the mercury inside to reach a certain point, but it could also happen automatically when a particular angle was met by the switch. Although mercury is still used in many tilt switches, modern solutions exist to cause the same effect without the disadvantages that come along with mercury use.

These days, tilt switches can pair with automatic and remote notification systems that can send alerts when a specific angle has been reached. This is beneficial for large industrial sites and construction projects where a user may not be available to monitor a particular switch at all times. The ability to receive safety alerts when a switch has been triggered provides the ability to respond to unsafe conditions faster, and this may reduce the potential for accidents and injuries on a worksite.

Alerts can be sent via text message (SMS), email, phone call, web notification through proprietary messaging systems and more. This also means that users can be alerted to unsafe operating conditions while away from a job site. This is a huge benefit when multiple projects are ongoing at once and a safety coordinator is required to be on the road to oversee various projects.

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Tilt Switches Provide Immediate Feedback

Of course, tilt switches can also provide immediate feedback regarding the state of a switch when used as a safety mechanism. When triggered, a tilt switch can let the user know that a state has changed to an unsafe degree, and in some cases, automatic shut-off can occur to prevent accidents and injury. The seamless integration of real-time alerts is used in equipment utilized by the construction industry, manufacturing facilities, aviation and more.

Tilt Switches Protect When No One Is Around

Another way that tilt switches can be used for safety is by protecting equipment when no one is around to respond to alerts. An example of this usage is found in the classic vending machine. These machines dispense items based on the insertion of money or a card, but the downside is that they are left vulnerable to tipping and shaking to dispense items as well. This can easily leave vending machines open to theft and vandalism.

By incorporating a tilt switch in a vending machine, the machine’s operation can be halted if tipping to a specific degree is experienced. An alert could also be sent out to let the owner of the vending machine know that someone has tried to tamper with the machine. Further, in a more technical setup, the tilt switch could be connected to an on-site camera that can be triggered to begin recording when the switch has become engaged.