Why socket covers should NOT be used
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  1. #1
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    Default Why socket covers should NOT be used

    Hi, I am one of the founders of the FatallyFlawed campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of plug-in socket covers.

    There have been several recent references to the use of socket covers in these threads, so as it is almost three years sicnce Ofsted policy on socket covers changed (as a result of the FatallyFlawed campaign) I hope you do not mind me bringing the issue to your attention once more.


    • British 13 Amp sockets have built in automatic shutters to protect against children poking things in them.
    • First introduced more than 60 years ago, they are considered the safest in the world and do not require external covers.
    • No responsible national body recommends using socket covers.
    • That includes the UK Government, RoSPA, Ofsted, Child Accident Prevention Trust and Electrical Safety Council.
    • Sockets are made to accept plugs which meet very exact requirements. Anything which is not a standard plug MUST be made to the same dimensions as required for plugs. No socket covers which meet those dimensions are available!


    Please note, ALL UK power sockets (three rectangular pins) have shutters, even those which are 60 years old!

    Socket covers introduce a variety of dangers; they make sockets less safe, not more.

    Some socket covers have many faults, some just a few, but none makes sockets safer than they already are.

    www.fatallyflawed.org.uk has lots of detail on socket covers, the dangers they create, and reviews of many different types.

    Ofsted does not require you to use socket covers!

    In the interests of safety you shopuld regularly check the condition of your sockets, and you may want to include that in your risk assessment. Make sure that the socket shows no signs of damage and check the operation of the shutters. There is a guide to checking the shutters on our FAQ page.

    I hope that you will find this information of interest.
    Last edited by Socketman; 10-07-2011 at 02:46 PM.

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  3. #2
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    Hi. I have had your info in my parent folder for 2 years now. I haven't used socket covers for a long time, I found that the new ones I bought from a large well known baby store, didn't klip into the socket securely anyway.

    I have campaigned on here several times for childminders not to use socket covers so it is good to see you here.

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    so do we have to use socket covers or not as i will gladly take mine away
    CWR

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    Quote Originally Posted by Socketman View Post
    There have been several recent references to the use of socket covers in these threads, so as it is almost three years sicnce Ofsted policy on socket covers changed (as a result of the FatallyFlawed campaign) I hope you do not mind me bringing the issue to your attention once more.
    Don't mind at all David, you are always welcome here.

    I often find your previous posts for members who are not aware of the risks involved with socket covers.
    Pauline x

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    Quote Originally Posted by boxtree7 View Post
    so do we have to use socket covers or not as i will gladly take mine away

    I don't and no Ofsted inspector should tell you that you should. You need to show how you keep children safe and protect them from the risks involved in having plug sockets in a childcare setting.

    Adding it to your risk assessment is a good idea.
    Pauline x

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    I have the info above in my Risk Assessment Folder and in my Parent Info Folder.

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    At last some sensible information that we can use against the use of socket covers
    my hubby has always said that they are unsafe and not to use them but it's hard proving to ignorant people that he is right and they aren't
    his arguement has always been that by putting socket covers in you are opening the pins and allowing the potential for things to be poked into the holes and causing shocks

    I will print the info off and keep it in my RA folder

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Socketman View Post
    Hi, I am one of the founders of the FatallyFlawed campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of plug-in socket covers.

    There have been several recent references to the use of socket covers in these threads, so as it is almost three years sicnce Ofsted policy on socket covers changed (as a result of the FatallyFlawed campaign) I hope you do not mind me bringing the issue to your attention once more.


    • British 13 Amp sockets have built in automatic shutters to protect against children poking things in them.
    • First introduced more than 60 years ago, they are considered the safest in the world and do not require external covers.
    • No responsible national body recommends using socket covers.
    • That includes the UK Government, RoSPA, Ofsted, Child Accident Prevention Trust and Electrical Safety Council.
    • Sockets are made to accept plugs which meet very exact requirements. Anything which is not a standard plug MUST be made to the same dimensions as required for plugs. No socket covers which meet those dimensions are available!


    Please note, ALL UK power sockets (three rectangular pins) have shutters, even those which are 60 years old!

    Socket covers introduce a variety of dangers; they make sockets less safe, not more.

    Some socket covers have many faults, some just a few, but none makes sockets safer than they already are.

    www.fatallyflawed.org.uk has lots of detail on socket covers, the dangers they create, and reviews of many different types.

    Ofsted does not require you to use socket covers!

    In the interests of safety you shopuld regularly check the condition of your sockets, and you may want to include that in your risk assessment. Make sure that the socket shows no signs of damage and check the operation of the shutters. There is a guide to checking the shutters on our FAQ page.

    I hope that you will find this information of interest.
    Thanks for this and the link - very useful

    Miffy xx
    Keep smiling!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pauline View Post
    Don't mind at all David, you are always welcome here.

    I often find your previous posts for members who are not aware of the risks involved with socket covers.
    Thanks Pauline, it's good to know people find our information useful. Interest in the site just keeps growing!

    It does make me angry that suppliers of socket covers continue to mislead people by falsely claiming that they are essential. What makes it worse is that they cannot be bothered to actually make them to the correct size! It just shows that they have no interest in safety, only profit.

    Best wishes,
    David

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    I stopped using them a couple of years ago after reading the fatally flawed info and have pointed lots of people in the direction of the website

    I think it's good to have information that is easy to understand and makes sense!

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    I did not even know this about socket covers, thanks and I will keep the information for my safety policy and risk assessments.

    you really do learn something new every day!

    Sara

  13. #12
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    Thank you for the reminder.

    However a word of caution;

    I have used your information and shown it Ofsted during inspection, its in my RA's and parents know I do not use socket covers HOWEVER I was marked down on my inspection because I choose not to use socket covers. The inspector believed I did not adequately protect children from socket covers - bearing in mind only TWO sockets in my whole house are potentially accessible to children. One of these two is in a place that we rarely are... and the other is more often than not in use.


    just a word of caution.... Ofsted may not require you to use covers however this may not have filtered down to all their inspectors nor may they agree with it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pipsqueak View Post
    Thank you for the reminder.

    However a word of caution;

    I have used your information and shown it Ofsted during inspection, its in my RA's and parents know I do not use socket covers HOWEVER I was marked down on my inspection because I choose not to use socket covers. The inspector believed I did not adequately protect children from socket covers - bearing in mind only TWO sockets in my whole house are potentially accessible to children. One of these two is in a place that we rarely are... and the other is more often than not in use.


    just a word of caution.... Ofsted may not require you to use covers however this may not have filtered down to all their inspectors nor may they agree with it.
    Pip as this is a factual issue I would raise it with Ofsted if an inspector marked me down. Ofsted recognise we do not need to use them.

    I would also want the Inspector to explain to me how I was not protecting the children by not having the covers. I would ask her/him to find three things that would fit into the socket and tell me which ages of children could have found those things and could actually simultaneously push them into all three holes. Fingers don't fit.

    I would challenge it up to the hilt if they couldn't come up with a valid reason and I don't see how they can. But you know me!!

    The more of us that challenge though the better.

  15. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickysmiths View Post
    Pip as this is a factual issue I would raise it with Ofsted if an inspector marked me down. Ofsted recognise we do not need to use them.

    I would also want the Inspector to explain to me how I was not protecting the children by not having the covers. I would ask her/him to find three things that would fit into the socket and tell me which ages of children could have found those things and could actually simultaneously push them into all three holes. Fingers don't fit.

    I would challenge it up to the hilt if they couldn't come up with a valid reason and I don't see how they can. But you know me!!

    The more of us that challenge though the better.


    Oh I did challenge it Ricky at the time with the woman, I even showed her information from fatally flawed (and also fire brigade info) , to be honest after my battering during inspection I was ready to quit to be honest and I did not have the heart or the energy to pursue a complaint or appeal further. There were various other things in my inspection that she shook me up on - even my hubby who was present objected to what she was saying.

  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pipsqueak View Post
    Oh I did challenge it Ricky at the time with the woman, I even showed her information from fatally flawed (and also fire brigade info) , to be honest after my battering during inspection I was ready to quit to be honest and I did not have the heart or the energy to pursue a complaint or appeal further. There were various other things in my inspection that she shook me up on - even my hubby who was present objected to what she was saying.
    I'm really sorry that you had a problem with the inspector over this. It must be horribly frustrating to be criticised for doing the right thing!

    Here is what Ofsted told me last year:
    "In your email you say that there is continuing evidence that Ofsted inspectors are showing disapproval when encountering childcare settings where the decision has been taken not to use socket covers.

    In our response (12 December 2008) to your email of 11 December 2008, we made clear our position on the use of socket covers by childcare providers. We neither recommend nor criticise the use of socket covers by childcare providers, only that the environment in which they provide childcare is safe and meets legal requirements. I am sorry to hear that you think that Ofsted inspectors are showing disapproval when socket covers are not in use. If you are able to provide more details of when this is happening, we can follow this up with the inspector or inspectors concerned."

    I understand that you did not want to pursue the matter, I have heard a similar response from someone else, but as you can tell from the message above the inspector was just plain wrong!

    If anyone else encounters this problem I would really appreciate hearing about it. One thing you might want to do is ask the inspector which particular cover they expect you to use, as there are none which are made to the correct size to be safe to use!

    All the best,
    David

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    most of my sockets are also covered by book cases, shelves and tables etc, so hopefully it wont come up during inspection. I will leave them in for now and then bring it up if she does and see what happens, I dont fancy a fight with the inspector on my first inspection!!!

    I will have the info in my folder and ask her if it crops up for RA's etc and see what the feedback is that I get, maybe this can filter back up the line if changes need to be made etc

    thanks,

    Sara

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    now ive always used socket covers, we did with my younger brother and sister too all those years ago...one of the my inspector said was about socket covers and how it was nice to see i was well prepared ...our house is designed with plug socketshalf way upthe wall (for people with disabilities) so hard to cover with anything other than socket covers

    i teach the children (under 2s) not to touch lots of "ouchy" noises when ever i touch it too if they are near over exagerating how much they hurt

    i cant imagine to be honest not having them, its part of myroutine everyday to check ive put it back in once ive hoovered
    time for a new plan

    xx
    Jennie x x

  19. #18
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    I dont use the pin ones, I use ones that cover the whole of the socket in the areas that are used for minding...

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/QUALITY-LOCKAB...-2-KEYS-/25085

    these ones covers the socket, plugs and switches...

    happy days
    boo

  20. #19
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    You can buy these double locking ones through Amazon/the Forum and at the same time help the Forum a little!

    Lockable Socket covers
    Last edited by Pauline; 18-07-2011 at 07:58 AM.
    Pauline x

  21. #20
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    those ones pauline are little push in clips, not as good as the socket safe ones with the keys...

    boo

 

 
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