Consumer Units also known as Fuse Boxes can potentially save your life. However, a faulty consumer unit could potentially cause a loss of life.
What a Consumer Unit should do
Apart from control the electrical functions of your home, a consumer unit should also be capable of detecting a potentially dangerous problem. This would be more than just “tripping” but rather in the form of Dual protection RCD’s which all new consumer units are fitted with.
RCD’s are smart enough to detect faulty appliances before you are even aware and will activate if someone accidentally touches a “live” wire in your home. The capabilities of an RCD far exceed any other safety function of an old consumer unit/ fusebox such as a trip switch activating or fuse blowing. An RCD should activate in less than a split second