Socket safety – why do we use socket covers when they’re not needed?

A British safety standard from 1947 that requires the top hole of the 3-hole socket to have a “shutter” on the inside means that the live and neutral holes can’t be accessed until the shutters are opened. That happens when the earth pin of the plug is inserted into the top hole, thus opening the shutter.

Only by inserting a plug, with a top pin, can the shutter be opened, which in turn activates the live part of the socket… making the socket safe – so there is no need to cover it; even little children’s fingers won’t open the socket. 

So there is no need to use “child safety covers” which have actually been found to be dangerous, or address labels! 

UK socket with cover

When you arrange PAT testing you may be offered an additional service called “socket testing“; this practice usually involves telling you if something dodgy is spotted with a socket; we don’t charge you for that – we just tell you… DRA PAT Testing – keeping it simple!  

By |2020-01-09T20:19:52+00:00February 2nd, 2019|Health and Safety|Comments Off on Socket safety – why do we use socket covers when they’re not needed?

About the Author:

I am Richard Ayre; editor for this site, owner of the site and the business, and a PAT testing engineer with over 10 years experience. I consider myself an expert in testing IT equipment in office environments; I have worked in many different industries for hundreds of different clients testing all kinds of electrical equipment. I am also Operations Director for the Portable Appliance Testing Trade Association As well as being the business owner I am also an employer; based in Wallsend near Newcastle upon Tyne. I am also involved in the running of the Portable Appliance Testing Trade Association as Operations Director and joint founder. "PATTA" attends important meetings and provides representation for the smaller businesses that do PAT testing in the UK, when decisions are being made that affect them.