Advanced search

to remind everyone that socket covers are dangerous!

(262 Posts)
insertrandomnamehere Mon 12-May-14 21:25:20

Did a search and couldn't find a post on this topic for a couple of years so in case people still don't realise...

If you use Child safety socket covers, get rid of them! They are dangerous and they actually make sockets more dangerous not less.

Socket covers are completely unnecessary and could potentially cause a fatal accident. UK plug sockets are designed with shutters to prevent anything except a UK plug being inserted into the socket. It is extremely unlikely that a young child would be able to open these shutters, as the child would have to insert something of exactly the right size into the earth pin. This is not possible with real plugs. But socket covers hold these shutters open and introduce a range of new dangers.

Unlike real plugs, the various design faults of socket covers allow a curious child to insert them (upside down) into the earth pin only. On many sockets this opens the safety shutters and allows children access to the live contacts!

If you have these at home, please take a few minutes to read the national campaign calling for the banning of socket covers:

MrsTerryPratchett Mon 12-May-14 21:27:10

I live in Canada and miss UK plug sockets. They are the safest in the world, unless you insert random crap like ill-fitting socket covers into them. Leave them alone people, they were designed to be safe.

EllenJanesthickerknickers Mon 12-May-14 21:27:11

Thank you. I'd forgotten why I got rid of my socket covers a few years ago.

Andrewofgg Mon 12-May-14 21:28:46

I remember explaining this to MIL when DS was small, but she could not get the message. She just somehow believed that sockets must be safer with the holes covered than not.

ThatBloodyWoman Mon 12-May-14 21:30:10

Bug if you have socket covers on ,how can they insert them into the earth pin? confused

ThatBloodyWoman Mon 12-May-14 21:30:32

But, not bug....

LucyBabs Mon 12-May-14 21:32:44

I was about to ask the same question That. I have socket covers inserted and dc can't take them out. I don't leave them lying around.

JimBobplusasprog Mon 12-May-14 21:35:02

Kids can remove socket covers and replace them upside down. It's quite attractive for them as they are atccrawling height and they see their parents remove them and plug stuff in.

AElfgifu Mon 12-May-14 21:35:18

I don't understand this, to be honest, please explain a bit further. I'm a teacher, and know that is is quite easy for a silly child, primary or secondary age, to give themselves a shock sticking something in a socket. Also to give a shock to the child next to them as well, if they are touching. It happens, I suppose I've been in the room with such an incident around three or four times. Once leading to serious injury.Why doesn't it make sense to cover the sockets in a home with a toddler in, they are surely much more vulnerable, both less sense and less physical resilience.

Ludways Mon 12-May-14 21:37:08

My dad was head of safety for a large electricity supply company before he retired, he told me not to use them. Good enough credentials for me.

ThatBloodyWoman Mon 12-May-14 21:37:35

Mine couldn't remove them.
Surely that's rather the point?!

Perhaps some are poorly designed, I don't know....

insertrandomnamehere Mon 12-May-14 21:40:05

ThatBloodyWoman - if the child removes the cover and places it on upside down with just the earth pin in the earth hole. This is possible because these sockets are often flexible and have short pins. This is not possible with real plugs.

Or alternatively, the socket could snap off leaving just the earth pin engaged. Again due to the potential port quality of these covers. These covers are not made by any manufacturers of proper UK standard electrical equipment - in fact they advise against them.

UK sockets are designed to accept UK plugs which have to meet very exact standards. Plastic socket covers do not meet these standards.

On the link I gave you can see images of what I am talking about - upside down socket covers, etc.

Ludways Mon 12-May-14 21:41:36

Basically a British socket is inactive when nothing is in it, when you put in a socket cover you are activating the socket.

RustyBear Mon 12-May-14 21:42:33;m_campaign=google-feed&gclid=CJfAhpafp74CFQkCwwodjxkAfA

I used covers of this type, which cover the whole socket plate and also prevent a child unplugging equipment. In fact I still have one over my freezer socket, to stop anyone turning it off accidentally.

morningsarepants Mon 12-May-14 21:42:53

OMG I had no idea. Have just been round and removed all my socket covers. I looked up the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents and they say they are not recommended. They do also say they are not aware of any injuries or deaths caused by socket covers however.
Why are they still being sold then if they are so dangerous? You would think they would be withdrawn.
Thanks OP for bringing this up!

insertrandomnamehere Mon 12-May-14 21:42:57

And with an earth pin shaped pin in the earth hole, the shutters open and the live terminals are exposed.

Without anything in the earth hole, the shutters to the live/neutral terminals will not open. Why introduce a flimsy piece of plastic that permanently holds the shutters open?

AElfgifu Mon 12-May-14 21:43:11

But what about when you leave it uncovered and a child sticks something in it?

Ludways Mon 12-May-14 21:43:12

Not sure if this'll work from my phone.

ThatBloodyWoman Mon 12-May-14 21:44:48

I can see that happening if the child can get the socket cover off in the first place, but mine couldn't, and I'm pretty sure that they would have been able to shove a metal object in an uncovered socket, so personally I'm glad I had them.

But I am an individual, and statistically if this campaign is shown to protect children, then I'm all for it!

insertrandomnamehere Mon 12-May-14 21:46:05

RustyBear - I've not seen that before but on first glance that looks OK - I'm assuming there are no pins that enter the socket? In that case you certainly are not making the socket any less safe.

Ludways sums it up well. UK sockets are designed - very well - to be inaccessible when not in use. Socket covers make them accessible. They should be banned.

insertrandomnamehere Mon 12-May-14 21:48:43

AElfgifu - the child would have to insert something of the correct size into the earth pin and hold it there. This is not easy with a random object, but with socket covers turned upside down it is, and the flexible plastic tends to hold it in place.

NannyR Mon 12-May-14 21:49:31

I very nearly posted about this a few weeks ago. The little boy I look after has just turned two and in the time it took me to unload the dishwasher he managed to get a socket cover out and put it back in upside down.

I've known about them being dangerous for a while but like poster above, thought it would be pretty much impossible for a child to actually get one out; I was quite shocked to see how quickly and easily he managed it.

insertrandomnamehere Mon 12-May-14 21:51:38


VisualiseAHorse Mon 12-May-14 21:51:54

mine don't have shutters on.

insertrandomnamehere Mon 12-May-14 21:53:52

morningsarepants - I have to say I'm not aware of any either - thankfully fatal electrocution are very rare anyway. But the unanimous opinion of absolutely everybody apart from those few who manufacture and sell these things is that they increase and do not reduce danger of electrocution.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: