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Results: Should the government ban 'safety' socket covers

YES

78.13% • 50 votes

NO

21.88% • 14 votes

You may not vote on this poll

64 votes in total.

  • FIRST POST
    • baldelectrician
    • By baldelectrician 21st Aug 17, 4:20 PM
    • 2,183Posts
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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 2
    • anotheruser
    • By anotheruser 23rd Aug 17, 9:07 PM
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    anotheruser
    That fatally flawed website is awful.

    It's not clear to navigate, unpleasing to the eye and does not grab my attention straight away about why they are unsafe.

    However, I did read a little.
    While I don't have any in my house, I hardly think a child will get one out to then insert it upside down... just so they can stick their fingers in. I struggle to get them out as an adult!
    • MisterP123
    • By MisterP123 24th Aug 17, 2:25 PM
    • 161 Posts
    • 180 Thanks
    MisterP123
    I've always hated these things.

    I'd face disciplinary action in work if I purposely defeated a safety mechanism. Which essentially, these things are doing, then putting a cover over it.

    And usually one of the first things I do with an apprentice, is hand over a Martindale and ask him to test for power at the nearest socket. Then leave them a while.
    • SG27
    • By SG27 27th Sep 17, 8:15 PM
    • 2,149 Posts
    • 1,420 Thanks
    SG27
    Ive just watched my 13 month old son pull two of these out of the socket then try and plug them back in. Now he knows how to do it it takes him around 5 seconds. My wifes parents have bought one for every plug socket. Ive always known they are pointless but didnt know they were potentially dangerous.
    • SG27
    • By SG27 27th Sep 17, 8:18 PM
    • 2,149 Posts
    • 1,420 Thanks
    SG27
    That fatally flawed website is awful.

    It's not clear to navigate, unpleasing to the eye and does not grab my attention straight away about why they are unsafe.

    However, I did read a little.
    While I don't have any in my house, I hardly think a child will get one out to then insert it upside down... just so they can stick their fingers in. I struggle to get them out as an adult!
    Originally posted by anotheruser
    My 13 month old son can get them out with ease in seconds he goes round the edges pulling until he can get his fingers behind. He the tries to plug them back in like its a game.
    • anotheruser
    • By anotheruser 24th Oct 17, 9:19 AM
    • 2,601 Posts
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    anotheruser
    And you're not teaching him plug sockets are not toys?
    I mean, kids can be taught what's right and what's wrong... even after their persistence in being naughty.

    I'm not fussed either way. If a child stuck a pen in the top hole, then another in another hole, you potentially have a problem. These plastic covers help stop that. I understand the dangers, but I'm not convinced by the website claims. But then as I say, I don't have any covering my plugs as I'd rather buy a burger instead.
    • Biggles
    • By Biggles 24th Oct 17, 10:15 AM
    • 7,612 Posts
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    Biggles
    I'm not fussed either way. If a child stuck a pen in the top hole, then another in another hole, you potentially have a problem. These plastic covers help stop that.
    Originally posted by anotheruser
    But the standard socket is so designed that the slots are too narrow for most pens.

    The plastic covers, however, are specially made to open the safety shutters ready for little fingers.
    • anotheruser
    • By anotheruser 31st Oct 17, 4:34 PM
    • 2,601 Posts
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    anotheruser
    Too small for a pen yet small enough for a child's finger? I mean, if the child is a baby maybe, but as soon as they're able to travel around by themselves, I would suggest their fingers would be about as thick as a pen. Maybe not, and I appreciate fingers are squidgy, but not that much.

    I'm not sure I know of any children that:

    are strong enough to remove the cover AND
    have thin enough fingers AND
    decide to turn the switch on AND
    manage to lodge their finger into the correct part of the socket.

    That's quite a lot of bad luck if they manage to complete ALL the required tasks for electrocution.

    The plastic covers also cover the two holes at the bottom. If you manage to remove the plug, the safety covers will close.
    • Gary_Dexter
    • By Gary_Dexter 11th Nov 17, 8:49 AM
    • 1,276 Posts
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    Gary_Dexter
    They don't need to be banned.

    They're non-conductuve and once plugged in are not the easiest of things to remove.

    Besides that tell your child it's wrong and not to touch
    • baldelectrician
    • By baldelectrician 11th Nov 17, 7:16 PM
    • 2,183 Posts
    • 1,366 Thanks
    baldelectrician
    They don't need to be banned.

    They're non-conductuve and once plugged in are not the easiest of things to remove.

    Besides that tell your child it's wrong and not to touch
    Originally posted by Gary_Dexter

    Using them invalidates some socket warranties and the 'safety socket covers' do not meet the standards for a plug or a socket (BS1363) as they are neither a plug or a socket.
    baldly going on...
    • Norman Castle
    • By Norman Castle 30th Nov 17, 10:24 AM
    • 7,078 Posts
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    Norman Castle
    Any evidence to show standard sockets are dangerous?
    Don't harass a hippie. You'll get bad karma.

    Never trust a newbie with a rtb tale.
    • TheCyclingProgrammer
    • By TheCyclingProgrammer 5th Dec 17, 12:24 PM
    • 3,173 Posts
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    TheCyclingProgrammer
    Any evidence to show standard sockets are dangerous?
    Originally posted by Norman Castle
    None, because they aren't.
    • RedFraggle
    • By RedFraggle 25th Dec 17, 7:37 AM
    • 669 Posts
    • 1,794 Thanks
    RedFraggle
    I was told that unlike modern systems my does not have individual circuit breakers?

    That is your fuseboard, nothing to do with sockets, it means you don't have individual trip switches on your fueboard for different elements of your domestic electrics.

    Instead of banning these covers I think they should should set up a safety standard they need to comply to.

    Because of how they work that isn't an option really. Anything that is capable of being inserted incorrectly depressing the safety cut off in the top pin hole is unsafe. They ae also completely unnecessary to begin with..
    Originally posted by iammumtoone
    Hope that helps and you feel a bit safer
    Officially in a clique of idiots
    • DavidDavidson
    • By DavidDavidson 27th Jan 18, 3:26 AM
    • 4 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    DavidDavidson
    Completely unnecessary and potentially lethal though the testing done with some of the better ones makes it seem like they would have defeated the safety gates anyway. UK sockets are inherently safe, so much so that when I was about five the only way my mother could get her hairdryer (cord had gotten chewed up or something) to work was to wrap unshielded wire around the L and N pin of a nearby plug then plug that in, jamming the wires in wasn't an option.

    I don't see out being a government issue however, the UK is too much of a nanny state to begin with and they can too many things, switching to a 120v system would make things much safer as the sine wave created by our AC current at 240v is almost perfect for stopping a heart, the 120v system uses a different voltage and the hz of the system is different too. What would be a fatal shock here would (usually) be a very uncomfortable zap there.

    If the government really want to stick their noses into the matter then ban them in public buildings.
    • anotheruser
    • By anotheruser 13th Mar 18, 10:44 AM
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    anotheruser
    So perhaps this thread should be unstickied as suggesting something is dangerous, when there's no evidence, at best misplace trust in a website that prides itself on telling the truth and builds trust.
    • Biggles
    • By Biggles 13th Mar 18, 12:54 PM
    • 7,612 Posts
    • 5,011 Thanks
    Biggles
    So perhaps this thread should be unstickied as suggesting something is dangerous, when there's no evidence, at best misplace trust in a website that prides itself on telling the truth and builds trust.
    Originally posted by anotheruser
    As you know, I disagree with your views on 'safety' socket covers, but agree that there's little point in keeping this as a Sticky.

    MSE should take up the issue itself and make a cause of it or leave it alone altogether.
    • Will Eye Arm
    • By Will Eye Arm 30th Apr 18, 1:11 PM
    • 16 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Will Eye Arm
    I just put a load of these about our new house.

    Are they really that bad? These are the ones I bought:

    amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00O7RRUKK/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    The website looks terrible and I'm not sure if this is a hoax.

    I've never heard of anyone putting a cover in upside down?

    fatallyflawed.org.uk/assets/images/Lyvia_S.jpg

    Can't tell if this is a prank website?
    • Owain Moneysaver
    • By Owain Moneysaver 30th Apr 18, 11:06 PM
    • 8,180 Posts
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    Owain Moneysaver
    switching to a 120v system would make things much safer as the sine wave created by our AC current at 240v is almost perfect for stopping a heart, the 120v system uses a different voltage and the hz of the system is different too. What would be a fatal shock here would (usually) be a very uncomfortable zap there.
    Originally posted by DavidDavidson
    Not necessarily so, the higher voltage causes a greater fault current to flow, and so the protective device operates more quickly.

    There are many other considerations too.
    A kind word lasts a minute, a skelped erse is sair for a day.
    • baldelectrician
    • By baldelectrician 1st May 18, 2:50 AM
    • 2,183 Posts
    • 1,366 Thanks
    baldelectrician
    I just put a load of these about our new house.

    Are they really that bad? These are the ones I bought:

    amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00O7RRUKK/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    The website looks terrible and I'm not sure if this is a hoax.

    I've never heard of anyone putting a cover in upside down?

    fatallyflawed.org.uk/assets/images/Lyvia_S.jpg

    Can't tell if this is a prank website?
    Originally posted by Will Eye Arm
    http://www.beama.org.uk/resourceLibrary/beama-position-paper-on-socket-outlet-covers.html


    The BEMA site is the trade body of the socket manufacturers, the other links are genuine as well.
    baldly going on...
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