“I normally refuse to join in campaigns but this seemed so important, and the ‘safety’ covers so absurd and dangerous, that I agreed”
Author, TV presenter & Patron of FatallyFlawed
Dr Adam Hart-Davis



“Sockets in the UK are designed to keep people safe. Our UK design has been better than the majority of other countries, for many years.  Socket covers are an absolute con and totally unnecessary.” 
Engineering, Maths and Science presenter on TV
FatallyFlawed Supporter

Johnny Ball


IMPORTANT: This information applies to BS 1363 sockets only   


This emmaycare cover seems to be based on the IKEA/Mothercare type.  But, emmaycare have managed to modify the design to make it even worse, introducing even more problems! 

Our main picture is a detail from a photo used on retail websites selling this cover, their picture plainly shows two of the problems with this design.  We have highlighted one of these at the lower left of the picture.


The law requires a real plug to cover the socket holes by at least 9.5mm, but this cover plate is so small that it leaves the corners of the socket holes showing!  Look carefully and you can see part of one of the pins. Could this be why emmaycare shows the cover against a dark background?  Our photo (upper right) shows it is even more obvious with a white socket, see photo at bottom of this page for why it matters!

All three pins have been made EVEN SHORTER than the similar IKEA/Mothercare version (which were already too short)!
Look at the left edge of the cover in the main picture, it is photographed against a shiny socket, you can see a reflection of the back of the cover indicating that the plate is not fully in but at an angle, our picture on the right shows what this looks like from the side.


The picture below shows an emmaycare cover in a socket which has been cutaway to show how the pin fits in the socket, you can see that because the pin is too short for the straight part to properly engage


with the contact it is been partially pushed back out, leaving a significant space between cover plate and socket.  (We call this “pop out”, read more in our fact sheet “Does size matter?”)  This effect means that a child will find no difficulty using that gap at the bottom to remove the socket cover.  Having removed it, the child may easily put the emmaycare cover, in the inverted position,  into the earth contact alone, leaving the live contacts exposed, just like every other cover that we have tested.

emmaycare have also reduced the width of the earth pin to be the same width as the power pins!!!  The function of a dummy earth pin is solely to open the shutters in a socket.  If the earth pin is not wide enough, the shutters will not open far enough as the picture below left shows (we cut the cover in half so we could insert only the earth pin).


You can see how the shutters are only half open, so when the lower pins are inserted they crash into the shutters and over time this will cause wear (made worse by the badly shaped ends). 

Not only will this cover make your sockets dangerous, it may cause damage!

Emmay - Needle

Photo on right compares emmaycare pins to a real plug.

emmaycare pins are all too short, and the “earth pin” is too narrow.  The pins are also too thick.


This photo shows how a needle or paperclip can be pushed directly into the live contact because the Emmay cover, when inserted, has disabled the shutters, but does not properly cover the holes

The automatic shutters are there to prevent this happening, by inserting this cover the socket is made dangerous!

There is some evidence to suggest that Emmay Care understands that its cover is dangerous, as the instructions on the packet say:
“Important: Ensure electrical socket is switched off during installation and removal and whilst Socket Cover is in use.”

They do not think you should use it if the socket is live
, so we are not sure what purpose they have in mind for their product!  Are Emmay aware that not all sockets are equipped with switches?  Another indication that cover suppliers do not understand sockets.

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