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Results: Should the government ban 'safety' socket covers

YES

76.40% • 68 votes

NO

23.60% • 21 votes

You may not vote on this poll

89 votes in total.

  • FIRST POST
    • baldelectrician
    • By baldelectrician 21st Aug 17, 4:20 PM
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    baldelectrician
    Safety socket covers - UNSAFE
    • #1
    • 21st Aug 17, 4:20 PM
    Safety socket covers - UNSAFE 21st Aug 17 at 4:20 PM
    As some of you may know I carry out electrical safety checks as part of my business and there is a campaign in the electrical industry to make people aware of the dangers of these so called safety devices which put children at risk.


    I have contacted several well known brands and received responses.

    The site http://www.fatallyflawed.org.uk/ has details on this.

    The NHS in England, Wales and Scotland issued a directive instructing these to be removed from use in all NHS premises as well as doctors and GP surgeries.

    https://www.cas.dh.gov.uk/ViewandAcknowledgment/ViewAlert.aspx?AlertID=102494

    The socket manufacturers association (BEMA) also advise these should not be used http://www.beama.org.uk/resourceLibrary/beama-position-paper-on-socket-outlet-covers.html

    I note you have MK sockets in your centre-you should be advised that MK support the BEMA guidance and are of the opinion that these socket covers should not be used on their sockets – Hager (another quality manufacturer) state the same.

    IKEA have removed them from sale as they deem them unsafe.

    So far I have contacted the following businesses:
    Maplin- they have a low stock and will not be reordering them in - so partial good result (although they could take the less than 60 they have left all over the UK and bin them)


    B&Q -
    Standard holding response- no action
    Thank you for your email dated 12.08.17, please accept our apologies for the delay in my response.

    We appreciate the information you have given us in relation to our product 03621325. Your comments and feedback will be took on board, logged and passed over to our Quality department where they can investigate further into this.

    B&Q always welcome feedback from our customers regarding any of our products or services and we are very grateful that you have taken the time and trouble to bring this matter to our attention.

    Thank you for contacting B&Q.

    If I can be of any further assistance to you please do not hesitate to contact us.



    Mothercare- reply effectively brushing off the concern




    Please see the below response I have received from our buying team:


    It is understandable that the NHS would ban the covers as they have a lot of sockets that are not always in view of staff who have other matters to attend to. Our covers are designed for in house use where the parent would almost always be present. Since we started selling the covers and to date there have been no complaints of injuries etc that you would expect if the product was in fact ‘unsafe’. Whilst Mr McLintock may feel the product is unsafe there is no data to back this up. Safety is of paramount importance to Mothercare and we would not knowingly sell any product we knew to be unsafe. We will continue to monitor returns/reviews on this item going forward.


    Please also see the response from our supplier:
    Our UK Plug Socket Covers are designed to solely PREVENT a small child inserting sharp or small objects into a plug socket / electrical outlet. They are designed to cover the socket, hiding the socket to REDUCE any temptation for a child to play or investigate or insert any objects into the electrical outlet. They aesthetically hide the holes of the outlet and provide peace of mind to parents.


    The worst response was Tesco- the guy called (his name was Keir D...) to read a statement and said he would not have any conversation other than the pre-prepared statement.






    Hello ...


    As discussed on the phone this is our reply to the issue you raised.


    “Thank you for your concern, I’m sorry for the delay in responding, I wanted to make sure we looked into this properly for you as we take child safety very seriously. Our range of socket covers, both from Tesco and our online Partners, are designed to give the option of this feature for those who may wish to use them. All covers sold by Tesco are from recognized brands who take pride in ensuring their products are manufactured to a high standard of quality and safety.”


    Thanks


    Tesco Customer Service


    The Tesco one was basically the worse. No response to the actual concerns raised- I asked him if the socket covers were safe which British standard they met, he refused to have any more conversation and that was that


    I am quite disappointed in Tesco as I thought they were better than this.

    baldly going on...
Page 1
    • rach_k
    • By rach_k 21st Aug 17, 5:22 PM
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    rach_k
    • #2
    • 21st Aug 17, 5:22 PM
    • #2
    • 21st Aug 17, 5:22 PM
    Thank you for the links. I have noticed that my kids' school uses them and although I am happy telling friends and family about the dangers, I hadn't quite plucked up the courage to talk to school about it. Now I can email them some links!

    I do hope that the Fatally Flawed website has a bit of a revamp at some point. It has so much good info but I don't think the site is very appealing and people may be unsure whether to trust it (because, as we know, well designed websites always tell the truth!).
    • TheCyclingProgrammer
    • By TheCyclingProgrammer 21st Aug 17, 5:46 PM
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    TheCyclingProgrammer
    • #3
    • 21st Aug 17, 5:46 PM
    • #3
    • 21st Aug 17, 5:46 PM
    Yes they should. I'm amazed when I still see these in people's homes and in buildings like children's play centres.

    UK sockets have a perfectly good safety mechanism built in. Is there even such a thing as a plug safety socket that passes any relevant British regulations for electrical safety?
    • TheCyclingProgrammer
    • By TheCyclingProgrammer 21st Aug 17, 5:49 PM
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    TheCyclingProgrammer
    • #4
    • 21st Aug 17, 5:49 PM
    • #4
    • 21st Aug 17, 5:49 PM
    Got to love Mothercare's response: nobody has died yet so they must be safe.

    They've been brushing off concerns about this for years.
    • esuhl
    • By esuhl 21st Aug 17, 5:54 PM
    • 9,023 Posts
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    esuhl
    • #5
    • 21st Aug 17, 5:54 PM
    • #5
    • 21st Aug 17, 5:54 PM
    The inherent dangers of plug-socket "safety" covers has been known about for years.

    I'm amazed that people still use them, and that nothing has been done to educate people on their dangers and the safety-features built in to UK plug sockets.

    Ban 'em!
    • iammumtoone
    • By iammumtoone 21st Aug 17, 10:58 PM
    • 6,096 Posts
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    iammumtoone
    • #6
    • 21st Aug 17, 10:58 PM
    • #6
    • 21st Aug 17, 10:58 PM
    I used them Why are they not safe? My electrics are old, very old they do not have a built in cut out device, does this make if safer or worse to use them?

    Note I no longer need/use them but I had them when son was small.
    Sealed pot challenge ~ 11 #017 - Open 1st Nov


    • baldelectrician
    • By baldelectrician 21st Aug 17, 11:47 PM
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    baldelectrician
    • #7
    • 21st Aug 17, 11:47 PM
    • #7
    • 21st Aug 17, 11:47 PM
    The safety shutters have been in use since 1947


    I presume your sockets are not round pin- therefore they have shutters


    If your electrics are as old as you say you should have them tested


    Look at the fatally flawed link


    http://www.fatallyflawed.org.uk/
    Last edited by baldelectrician; 21-08-2017 at 11:49 PM.
    baldly going on...
    • I have spoken
    • By I have spoken 22nd Aug 17, 7:30 AM
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    I have spoken
    • #8
    • 22nd Aug 17, 7:30 AM
    • #8
    • 22nd Aug 17, 7:30 AM
    Same poor thinking by the campaigns not to site mobile phone towers near schools, when that actually reduces the amount of electromagnetic radiation going through the kiddies.
    Last edited by I have spoken; 22-08-2017 at 7:33 AM.
    • Biggles
    • By Biggles 22nd Aug 17, 12:02 PM
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    Biggles
    • #9
    • 22nd Aug 17, 12:02 PM
    • #9
    • 22nd Aug 17, 12:02 PM
    Same poor thinking by the campaigns not to site mobile phone towers near schools, when that actually reduces the amount of electromagnetic radiation going through the kiddies.
    Originally posted by I have spoken
    Interesting. Without diverting the thread too much, can you clarify?
    • Former MSE Andrea
    • By Former MSE Andrea 22nd Aug 17, 12:03 PM
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    Former MSE Andrea
    Sticky

    Thanks for sending us the link baldelectrician, we've passed it on to our Editorial Team.
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    • I have spoken
    • By I have spoken 22nd Aug 17, 1:14 PM
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    I have spoken
    >Without diverting the thread too much, can you clarify?<

    Most radiation to the brain comes from the phone you're holding to you ear. The further away the mast is, the higher power the phone has to transmit on to ensure the signal is received. That higher transmit power = more radiation to the kiddies' brains.
    • Biggles
    • By Biggles 22nd Aug 17, 3:29 PM
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    Biggles
    Sticky

    Thanks for sending us the link baldelectrician, we've passed it on to our Editorial Team.
    Originally posted by MSE Andrea
    Success at last, baldelectrician! I know you've raised this important issue several times before over the years, as have others.

    They should be stamped out completely. I'm surprised Which? and other safety campaigners haven't succeeded in doing that.
    • iammumtoone
    • By iammumtoone 22nd Aug 17, 7:22 PM
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    iammumtoone
    I presume your sockets are not round pin- therefore they have shutters

    If your electrics are as old as you say you should have them tested
    Originally posted by baldelectrician
    No they aren't round sockets so seems I am ok there, thanks. I have had them looked at and advised it is a very old system that needs updating (but that comes at a cost ) I was told that unlike modern systems my does not have individual circuit breakers?

    Instead of banning these covers I think they should should set up a safety standard they need to comply to. I had a friend whos child stuck a thin knife into a socket and smoke came out they went out and brought covers after that!
    Sealed pot challenge ~ 11 #017 - Open 1st Nov


    • TheCyclingProgrammer
    • By TheCyclingProgrammer 22nd Aug 17, 7:53 PM
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    TheCyclingProgrammer
    Instead of banning these covers I think they should should set up a safety standard they need to comply to.
    Originally posted by iammumtoone
    There's already a safety standard for things that are inserted into plug sockets (and therefore anything that could be inserted into a plug socket). It's called BS 1363.

    Besides not conforming to safety standards, the point is that the covers are completely unnecessary. It is not possible to insert anything into the live or neutral pin holes without first inserting long enough into the earth pin hole.

    I had a friend whos child stuck a thin knife into a socket and smoke came out they went out and brought covers after that!
    They would have been better off replacing their obviously broken socket.
    • Geoff1963
    • By Geoff1963 22nd Aug 17, 8:37 PM
    • 1,055 Posts
    • 684 Thanks
    Geoff1963
    If the purpose of the cover is to hide the temping holes, why not have something to cover it, such as a flap for outdoor use, rather than something which increases the risk of the event to be avoided ?
    The only way the plug-in covers would work, is if they needed a tool to remove them ; but the child must have some sort of tool, in order to poke in the socket hole.

    I am reminded of the young girl who was told off by her mother for climbing trees in a skirt.
    When she asked why, her mother pointed out that boys would be able to look up and see her knickers.
    The following day, the girl was climbing the tree again, and her mother shouted up at her.
    "It's OK", said the girl, "they won't see my knickers. I took them off".
    • shaun from Africa
    • By shaun from Africa 22nd Aug 17, 10:18 PM
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    shaun from Africa
    I had a friend whos child stuck a thin knife into a socket and smoke came out they went out and brought covers after that!
    Originally posted by iammumtoone

    I would have thought that if a knife managed to go far enough into a socket to cause damage that resulted in smoke, there would also have been a good flash and possibly a child suffering from an electric shock.
    • tgroom57
    • By tgroom57 22nd Aug 17, 10:49 PM
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    tgroom57
    I don't think a ban would be workable. An easy step would be to stop them using the word safety in the product description. So sell them as "socket covers", but not "safety socket covers". If your facts are as solid as you say you should be able to get them under the Trades Description Act - and if that gets sufficient media coverage it will be job done.

    • TheCyclingProgrammer
    • By TheCyclingProgrammer 23rd Aug 17, 12:45 AM
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    TheCyclingProgrammer
    I don't think a ban would be workable. An easy step would be to stop them using the word safety in the product description. So sell them as "socket covers", but not "safety socket covers". If your facts are as solid as you say you should be able to get them under the Trades Description Act - and if that gets sufficient media coverage it will be job done.
    Originally posted by tgroom57
    Changing the name would still mean people plugging things into their plug sockets that are potentially unsafe and conform to no safety standards.

    Why would a ban be unworkable? Just make it illegal for shops to sell them and promote a safety campaign to stop people using them.
    • Mrs Imp
    • By Mrs Imp 23rd Aug 17, 8:29 AM
    • 975 Posts
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    Mrs Imp
    Have you brought this to the attention of Ofsted? They regularly inspect schools, nurseries, child minders etc. I've mentioned a socket covers to a child minder before, but they seem to think that they need them for Ofsted inspections.
    • TheCyclingProgrammer
    • By TheCyclingProgrammer 23rd Aug 17, 10:56 AM
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    TheCyclingProgrammer
    OFSTED neither recommend or condemn the use of socket covers. It's about time they actively encouraged their use to be stopped though.

    http://knutsfordchildminding.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/socket-covers-and-ofsted.html?m=1
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