“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

"Plug Shaped" covers

IMPORTANT: This information applies to BS 1363 sockets only   

Model9N Model9I

We purchased this model, marked PMS through Cablestar, an online supplier, via Amazon.  The packet was labelled “Mercury Telecraft Ltd.”   The PMS cover has very short ”power” pins, less than 2/3 of the standard length!  They do not reach the contacts.  The earth pin length is  correct, but it is 10% thicker than allowed by BS 1363. This will almost certainly damage sockets and result in a real plug making an unsatisfactory earth contact, which is very dangerous.  The short pins make it particularly easy to insert upside down.

We have also seen this model on sale at Maplin under their own brand, as well as numerous other  brands including “Eurosonic” and (from Amazon) “Status”.  The “Status” packet is illegally marked “CE”, “BS5733” & “BS1363”, these marks are mutually exclusive, and non actually apply (there are no such markings on the product).


We purchased this model in a local hardware store.  It was sold under the brand name Deanston Electrical (a distributor).  We have also seen it in a number of other smaller hardware stores.

The same model is also packaged by another distributor under the RED/GREY Electrical Accessories brand.

All of the pins are of incorrect length, and they are also all too thick.  Being too thick makes it a little more difficult to remove, but can also cause long term damage to a socket.

The cover is easy to insert upside down.

Model1I Model1S

This cover is from an unknown supplier, it is marked NTA which is a brand name of the Hong Kong based Fanta Company.

The cover was given to us by a user who, having seen this website, no longer wanted anything to do with socket covers.

The flange features at top and bottom make this cover extremely easy to remove, especially as the short pins cause “pop out”.

Model10N Model10earthpin Model10Broken

It is also the most brittle that we have encountered.  The earth pins of the two samples we tried both snapped when inserted upside down, the failure being at the root of the pin.  This means that removal of the broken pin is extremely difficult without appropriate tools, and the shutters will remain open until the pin is removed or the socket replaced by an electrician.

The “power pins” are excessively thick, so in sockets where “pop out” does not occur they will cause long term damage to the contacts, this could lead to overheating and possible fire.

This cover manufactured by “Inject Mouldings”, is similar in appearance to the  NTA type above.

It also has flange features at top and bottom making this cover extremely easy to remove.

All of the pins are shorter than allowed by
BS 1363, and the short “power pins” cause
“pop out”.



This cover is marked “MLA 1390”.

The “earth pin” is both too wide and too thick, this means that it will damage the earth contacts in a socket and could cause a dangerous failure of the earthing connection when an appliance is subsequently used in that socket. 

The “power pins” are much shorter than allowed by
BS 1363, so short that they will not engage with the contacts in the socket (so will not contribute to holding the cover in place).  These short “power pins” allow the “earth pin” of an inverted cover to be almost fully inserted!

This cover was in a packet marked 
Useful-goods No 1037”.

All of the pins are shorter than allowed by BS 1363, and the very short “power pins” are also too narrow and too thin.

It is very easy to remove.

Useful_I Useful_S

Lyvia_N Lyvia_I Lyvia_S

This cover is branded  “Lyvia”.

All of the pins are shorter than allowed by BS 1363, and it is easy to insert in the inverted position as shown.

However, it is one of the very few covers which we have seen where the pins are actually the correct width and thickness.

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