“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

Adam_Hart-Davis2

johnnyball

“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
 

Round Covers

IMPORTANT: This information applies to BS 1363 sockets only   

Model11S
Model11N Model11I
Model11D
Model11clip

 This is a cover marked “KIDDI PROOF PRODUCTS” which was found being used by a play group.

The picture on the left shows a shaped earth pin which catches on the edge of the socket hole and effectively locks the cover in place, shutters open, when inserted upside down!  We understand that the intended function of this pin is to increase the friction exerted on the earth socket,  making it harder to withdraw, it appears to be based on a UK patent GB2220803.  We could not detect that this actually works - except when inverted.  This design is particularly dangerous. We bought some new ones in May 2010, they have the same brand name and are being sold by an online retailer called, “Your Healthcare Shop”, part of the Plasticom Group. 

This cover also allows paper clips etc to be inserted as shown  - only possible because the cover opens the internal shutters.

Every dimension of every pin is too small, except for the strange earth pin which is excessively wide!


Baby_First_N Baby_First_I Baby_First_S
Baby_First_Pins

 In April 2011 we found a cover in Poundland in a packet labelled “beautiful beginnings” imported by “Padgett Bros (A to Z) Ltd”.  We subsequently bought the same cover from a web trader, but this time packaged as “baby first

The cover itself is completely unmarked, but appears to be a very badly made copy of the KIDDI PROOF cover shown above.

It has a similarly shaped earth pin to the KIDDI PROOF type, this catches on the edge of the socket hole and effectively locks the cover in place, shutters open, when inserted upside down!  

The earth pin is too short, too thick and, like the original, far too wide.  We found that it was also particularly badly moulded, the lower picture illustrates three covers from the same packet, note the variation in the shape of the earth pin!

The “power pins” are also too short, and cause “pop out”

This cover also allows paper clips etc to be inserted  - only possible because the cover opens the internal shutters.

 


Model5N
Model5I

This is the Lindam cover which we bought at  Homebase.  We have also seen it offered by Argos and Babies R Us, as well as through Amazon and eBay.

This model also has a split earth pin, but without the feature  which causes the model above to lock.  It does allow deeper insertion upside down, but does not always open the shutters completely, it is too narrow for that.  However, they are opened far enough to allow access to the live contact!

Every pin is the wrong size and the ends are badly shaped.

The non-standard earth pin does not open shutters properly in normal insertion, so the other pins have to be forced past the shutters with a danger of excessive wear to the socket.

Model5S

Model8N

The cover shown was found in a hall used by a playgroup.  The cracks you see were present when it was found and they allow the earth pin to be fully inserted, upside down, without difficulty.

In September 2009 we found the identical model on sale in Tesco, labelled:  “TESCO MY BABY'S SOCKET COVERS”,
In July 2010 we found the same covers advertised as “Ladybird” by Littlewoods, Woolworths and other “Shop Direct” companies.

The pins are too short, and have been tapered to assist with insertion, because they are actually placed too close together!  The result is that it is fairly difficult to remove but it is always buckled because of the incorrect spacing.  this places a stress on the insulated case of the socket with potential long term damage.
This cover should never be inserted in a socket!

Model8S
Model8I

model13S
model13I
model13geometry model13N
model13Gap

We purchased this model from a Morrisons Supermarket under the brand “Morrisons Baby” and also from the Safe Tots internet site, branded “Safe Home”, both in September 2009.  In April 2011 we found them on sale in Poundland, branded “Hey baby”.  Wherever bought, these covers are very cheap, and very nasty!  None of the pins are the correct size.  This may result in permanent damage being caused to the socket in which it is used.

Take a look at the pictures of this socket cover, see what a poor moulding it is?  The “earth pin” is not at right angles to the cover.  The short pins are too short, and have badly shaped tips.  This results in the cover being partly pushed out of the socket as shown in the second photo (which is taken from below), this gap makes it very easy for a baby to remove.  This problem is common to many socket covers, but this cover (depending on what socket it is in) is particularly easy to remove.    Read what one mother has to say on the subject in the “Money Saving Expert” forum.  Now look at how far this cover can be pushed in upside down, it is so bendy that it goes in all the way!  You can clearly see the exposed live contacts, just waiting for a baby to poke something in.  

This is what the Morrisons website says about socket covers: “Plug sockets – fitted covers will stop babies poking their fingers inside.”  Not only bad advice, but whoever wrote it clearly knows nothing about British sockets or they would know that even tiny fingers will not fit in a socket.  And  this is what Morrisons has to say on electrical lead safety:  “make sure all electrical leads are tucked under carpets    The official advice you will get from a fire brigade is: “Don't run leads or cables under carpets or rugs – you won't be able to see if they become damaged.”   Judge for yourself if Morrisons is a good source of safety advice.


Model6N

This is the “masterplug” brand socket cover purchased from Woolworths.

We also purchased some from B&Q under their own brand.

On our Videos page is a video showing how Luca, an 11 month old baby, removes this cover with ease in under 3 seconds!

This model is less flexible but still opens the shutters when put in upside down.    

None of the pins is the correct size.

Model6S
Model6I

B&Q_S
B&Q_N B&Q_I

This is appears to be a variaotion of the “masterplug” socket cover, although the dimensions are different.  It was sold at B&Q under their own brand.

The main difference is that the “power pins” are very much shorter, they do not engage with the contacts at all.  It is easier to remove than the original, and much easier to insert in the inverted position (as can be easily seen).

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