Frequently Asked Questions

Are there training materials to offer employees?

Answer: Safeguard Equipment offers online training courses that walk users through all aspects of the PVD. Learn how to use the unit, adjust settings, test PVD functionality, and gain practical field use tips. Learners will receive a certificate of completion after passing the course successfully. (Certificate tracking is available for select customers upon request)

How much "current" does the Safeguard COMPASS® need for detection?

Answer: It can detect less than an amp if it is in very close proximity. When using the Safeguard COMPASS® to detect current, be aware that the detection distance will be reduced when any current cancellation is present.

Will the Safeguard COMPASS® create a false sense of security or complacency?

Answer: Complacency is usually reduced when professionals use the Safeguard COMPASS® in the prescribed manner. Often current and voltages escape our perception. With the Safeguard COMPASS®, this is significantly reduced. The Safeguard COMPASS® was designed to be an additional level of awareness when working on the job. Users should always practice standard safety procedures.

How deep can the SAfeguard COMPASS® detect and underground conductor?

Answer: If the conductor’s load holds 100 amps, and if the unit’s setting is at High, then it should be able to detect the source at a minimum of 6 feet away. This will also depend on soil types, any current cancellation, and orientation of the conductor.

Will the Safeguard COMPASS® detect underground voltage?

Answer: The Safeguard COMPASS® will not detect voltage if the energized cable is fully submerged underground. On a side note, if an exposed cable is shielded the Safeguard COMPASS® won’t detect voltage; however, it will detect the current if the cable is carrying a load. It can detect voltages on some cables that are simply insulated.


Answer: Yes. However, when a phase of a delta system contacts the Earth the electrical field detection of the COMPASS® may be severely restricted or eliminated. Consider all downed wires to be energized.

Will Safeguard Compass® detect an energized neutral?

Answer: The Safeguard COMPASS® will detect an energized neutral in a couple of ways:

1.) If a neutral is in an open circuit condition it can detect the voltage.

2.) If a neutral is carrying current it can detect current flow if the unit is in proximity to the conductor.

Does the Safeguard COMPASS® Interfere with the dielectric rating of a hard hat?

Answer: No. This has been tested by a third party and was confirmed that the Safeguard COMPASS® does not affect the hard hat’s dielectric capabilities.

Does the Safeguard COMPASS® work in a substation?

Answer: Yes. It will work in a substation when the voltage sensitivity setting is set to “Smart-Adaptive” mode. For the best results, we advise that the current sensitivity setting is set to “off.”

Can my Safeguard COMPASS® be updated with new software?

Answer: Safeguard is always looking for ways to improve the functionality and performance of the Safeguard COMPASS®. Our latest software update was offered on July 28, 2019. If your Safeguard COMPASS® has a unit number over 4866 then it will have the latest version of software. If your unit number is under 4866, feel free to fill out our Customer RMA Form on our website to receive our latest software update. Once this form has been completed and accepted, our support team will email you a shipping label. Once the Safeguard COMPASS® is received on our end, your updated unit will be sent back within a week.

Learn about our “Smart Adaptive” update here.

What if my Safeguard COMPASS® breaks? Is there a warranty?

Answer: The purchase of any Safeguard COMPASS® comes with a full one-year warranty. If your device breaks on the job, Safeguard will make sure it gets replaced if it is reported within the first year.

Is the Safeguard COMPASS® Fire Resistant?

Answer: No.

Is the Safeguard COMPASS® waterproof?

Answer: Due to its design, the Safeguard COMPASS® isn’t rated to be “waterproof;” however, it is rated to be “water-resistant.” Do not fully submerge the Safeguard COMPASS® in water as it could be damaged.

Can the battery be replaced?

Answer: No. The battery is rechargeable through a micro USB port. The standard life expectancy of the battery is five to ten years depending on the level of usage.


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