We have all seen them, the normally white plastic covers that parents plug into electrical sockets supposedly to keep children safe. However, the stark reality is they are dangerous and pose fire and electric shock risks against which they are perceived to protect.
Let me explain, UK electrical sockets are considered the safest in the world! A shutter mechanism inside the socket, prevents exploring young fingers from reaching any live wires. In fact, they prevent anything except for a plug from reaching live.
Please Do Not Use Electrical Socket Covers
The sockets you find in UK homes today were designed and implemented in 1947. They conform to the BS 1363 standard. There are no socket covers that conform to the BS 1363 safety standard! These “safety” devices are not endorsed by any UK governing body. In fact, the NHS removed all socket covers from their facilities in 2016.
Fatally Flawed a website dedicated to raising awareness of the dangers of socket covers list the perils as:
- Socket contact damage – results in overheating and possible fire
- Socket shutter damage – the shutters will not be able to protect children
- Some socket covers make it possible to poke pins and paper clips into the live parts!
- Broken plastic pins stuck in the earth hole – prevents shutters from closing
- Wrong size pins can make covers easy to remove, some even pop out by themselves!
- Children like to play with socket covers – plugging in upside down opens the shutter and exposes live contacts
The site goes on to emphatically state:
Socket Covers should NOT be inserted into sockets – they are dangerous!
With vast amounts of evidence of incorrect sized socket covers creating fire hazards and exposing live which increases the risk of electric shock. We in the industry have been advising against using these misleading so-called safety devices for years. The bottom line is these covers prevent the built-in safety mechanisms in your sockets from working and instead of protecting young children they expose them to risk of shock and are a fire hazard.
Please, please do NOT use Electrical Socket Covers! They are not safe!
Until next time… Stay safe!