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Fatally Flawed – Socket Covers Are Dangerous

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In the list of things that new parents, careworkers or teachers have to think about, electrical safety is pretty near the top.

Socket covers are a commonly accepted way of making sure children don’t poke their fingers or objects into places that might be dangerous to them. However, sockets have already been designed with safety in mind, and have internal shutters that ensure foreign objects cannot be pushed in. The shutters either release on entry of an earth pin, or on pressure from all three pins of a plug.

It is possible to insert some ‘safety socket covers’ upside down, thus opening the shutters to allow access to live parts. Other socket covers leave gaps that small thin items like paper clips can be poked in. Others can be easily snapped. The plastic pins on most of the covers are not long enough to ensure they have a good grip.

Though there might be a benefit to stopping children from plugging in other appliances, without proper design and regulation, the current range of socket covers are not safe.

There is an online campaign calling for regulation of socket covers that is essential reading:

Please sign this e-petition addressed to the UK government:

Telegraph: ‘Electrical socket safety covers are “absurd and dangerous” say engineers ‘ [23 Mar 2009]

IET: ‘Analysis: Engineers slam ‘flawed’ socket covers’ [17 March 2009]

Written by admin

August 14th, 2012 at 7:51 pm