Advanced search

Please help to enhance the safety of small children

(3 Posts)
FatallyFlawed Fri 26-Apr-13 16:26:17

Please help fix an issue which places small children at risk.

Dame Caroline Haslett was the pioneer electrical engineer who founded the Electrical Association for Women in the 1920's, she was also a member of RoSPA. Her work still has an influence on our lives today.

Britain has the safest system of electrical power sockets in the world. That system is due to the work of a government sponsored committee under the auspices of the Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE) which defined the system (still in use today) in the 1940s. The first stated requirement for the new standard was:

"To ensure the safety of young children it is of considerable importance that the contacts of the socket-outlet should be protected by shutters or other like means, or by the inherent design of the socket outlet."

We may safely assume that it was Dame Caroline's membership of that committee which ensured that the interests of children were placed foremost in the requirement. Those recommendations were enshrined in BS 1363, the standard for plugs and sockets, and conformance to that standard is a statutory requirement, The Plugs & Sockets etc. (Safety) Regulations (1994).

The IEE, now known as the IET (The Institution of Engineering and Technology) ensures the continuing safety of the British electrical system through its control of the IET Wiring Regulations (also known as BS 7671), part of which states that "Every socket-outlet for household and similar use shall be of the shuttered type". Those regulations are the responsibility of the IET's Technical Regulations Manager, Mark Coles, who recently wrote an article which explains the problems with so-called "safety socket covers" and concludes that "Socket-outlets to BS 1363 are the safest in the world and have been since they were first designed in the 1940s. Socket protectors are not regulated for safety, therefore, using a non-standard system to protect a long established safe system is not sensible."

This is a message which many electricians have been delivering since socket covers first made their unnecessary appearance on the British market several decades ago. For the past 5 years the campaign group FatallyFlawed has been publicizing this issue, but as yet the government has taken no action to regulate socket covers. Not one single socket cover on the UK market has the correct dimensions for safe insertion into a socket!

This is an issue which affects the safety of all small children, please help to address this issue by publicising the government e-petition which was started by Trevor Ord, an electrician from the North-East of England. The petition seeks to have regulation extended to all devices intended to be inserted into BS 1363 sockets, you can find it here:

With thanks in advance for your kind assistance,

David Peacock FIET
Co-founder - FatallyFlawed

Patron: Dr Adam Hart-Davis
Distinguished Supporters: Dr Johnny Ball, Professor Peter M. Grant OBE
For a full list of our Panel of Expert Advisors please see website

youmaycallmeSSP Fri 26-Apr-13 21:37:35

I signed the petition some time ago but I've shared it again with friends. Thank you for your work in pointing this out. Scarily, my job is to do with electrical safety standards and regulations but I wasn't aware of the dangers of plug socket covers until Fatally Flawed was pointed out to me on here blush

FatallyFlawed Tue 05-Jul-16 15:12:17

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

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

Register now