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I never thought about child safety at all before I had Millie and then once she started being able to crawl I suddenly realised the house is full of hazards! There are some hazards which we can't really avoid and children have to learn for themselves but plug sockets is something which you do need to do something about!
When Millie started to be on the move I was told to get on my hands and knees and see what things were in her reach that could harm her. I grew really anxious as I realised there were so many things that could cause her harm. I worried constantly about how I would stop her from burning herself on the radiators! One of the things I realised she needed protecting from were the plug sockets and luckily these were easily enough to cover.
My husband bought two packs of these for us and even though Millie is now five we still use them and I'm very conscious of when we forget to put one back in if we take it out for some reason. We got six in a pack. They are white plastic and look like plugs as they have the three prongs on them but they are all plastic so do not conduct electricity. They fit into any plug socket and are plain so they shouldn't attract the attention of little people. They have a raised area on them but it's plain white and very boring. You can buy them with pictures and words on but I always thought that would make a plug look more like a toy than it really should.
Because these are plain they go unnoticed and they don't clash with anything, our sockets are all white plastic anyway so it goes well. They probably will stand out a bit more if you have chrome fixings but for us they were just fine.
Sometimes Millie would be interested to know what they were but because they were rounded she couldn't get a grip on them so she couldn't pull them out of the socket. She sometimes would mess with the switches and turn them on and off but these covers make it safe so she couldn't hurt herself with turning them on and off anyway.
All of our sockets had one of these in to make sure that they were safe. They were easy to put in, they'd fit fine and if we needed to take them out to put a device in they were easy to take out. They were a bit stiff, you do have to put your fingers right at the edges to get a grip but this is important as it means that children can't get it out either.
I think these are vital if you have children, it really can save lives.
When my daughter started crawling, we soon realised how low down and reachable some of our sockets were around the house, and we knew we needed to get them all covered up, as she definitely the investigative type! I had already been passed on some basic covers by my sister who didn't need them any longer, but we needed more to ensure every socket that wasn't in use was covered. So, with some money left on an amazon voucher, I picked up a couple of packs of these Clippasafe Socket Covers, which are currently retailing at just under £2 for a pack of 4, which is an average price.
These socket covers are different from the basic socket covers that I got from my sister. I was already familiar with the brand Clippasafe and was confident in the product before it arrived. The socket covers are quite an unusual shape in that they resemble a UFO, round with a raised dome. Underneath the dome area is a small hole that allows the adult to remove the cover by inserting the earth pin of the plug and pull it out. This is aimed at keeping little hands as safe as possible, because it would be impossible for a young child to be able to remove these sockets any other way, as once they are on, they are a tight fit.
When I realised that you had to insert the pin on the plug I actually thought this was a bit of drawback and if I was in a hurry, it would only slow me down having to get the earth pin of the plug into the cover, but it doesn't really. I use the basic socket my sister gave me on a plug that is used a lot like the one I put my hairdryer and straighteners into each morning, but I use these socket covers on plugs that I don't use as often but are probably the easiest for my daughter to reach.
I found these socket covers easy to insert into the plug and hard to get out, but obviously that really should be the point of socket covers and therefore, demonstrates to me that these are perfect for keeping little hands safe. I am happy with these product and would recommend them!
There is a lot of controversy over socket covers, some people find them more of a danger than no socket covers at all due to safety features that are already installed into sockets. I researched into socket covers well before making my mind up and decided to purchase them so I had them ready should the need to use them arise.
The socket covers I purchased were these Clippasafe ones. I paid around the £2 for four covers from Amazon. I've bought three packs in total so got twelve covers in total.
The socket covers are a little different to what I remember from when I was a child, they were pretty basic when I was young and just contained the three pins to put into the plug backed by a round white bit of plastic. These ones are round and have the three clips that I remember but they also have a round ball type shape on the back of the plastic with a small opening which is used to remove the cover.
As plugs are fitted with a safety feature anyway I didn't use these socket covers from the word go. When my daughter picked up the plug for the television (I remove it every night) one morning I decided it was time to use the socket covers before she got any ideas. The three prongs of the socket covers fit nice and snuggly into the socket and once inserted it is near on impossible to get the covers back off. The only way to remove the cover is to use the top earth prong of a plug in the hole in the round end of the cover. This is pretty simple to do by turning the plug upside down and inserting the prong up into the hole and the cover comes away from the plug. It's definitely not something a small child could do.
Of course, the socket cover did fascinate my daughter when she first seen them in the plug but she didn't explore it like I thought she might. After a couple of attempts to remove the covers during the first week or two and realising she wasn't successful in the slightest she left them alone and hasn't touched them since. It's definitely stopped something serious happening, despite sockets having a safety feature already installed.
I'd definitely recommend these socket covers. They are impossible for young children to remove and could even be a little bit adult proof (my friend looked at me as if to say 'how on earth do I get this off' once!). The design means that you need a proper plug to remove the socket covers and this makes them even more appealing to people trying to prevent something serious happening. Fantastic value for money and more!
Two and a half year old Freddy has something of an obsession with switches and given half a chance will sneakily press on any switch that he can find. While the only problem with him continually switching lights on and off is that we go through an unprecedented number of light bulbs, when it comes to plug sockets the possible consequences are far more dire. While there has recently been some controversy about the use of socket covers, I wouldn't be without the Clippasafe socket covers I bought last year before he was crawling for just £1.99 for four.
The covers themselves are formed of rigid plastic and have three prongs to fit into the socket along with a rounded protrusion in the centre complete with hole for removal. I find that these covers fit quite snugly into the sockets with it taking a little bit of force to fully insert them, but once in place they fit flush with the socket plate leaving no gaps to allow little fingers to extract them. An actual plug is required to remove the cover from the socket, the top pin of the plug (Earth) fits into the hole in the rounded centre and is then used to lever it out. We've been using these covers for more than a year now and while it took a while to master the knack of removing them from the sockets it's now second nature. With this year of daily (or more) removal and replacing there are no visible signs of damage, although the removal hole has been slightly stretched. Being white the covers do tend to discolour slightly over time (especially if exposed to cigarette smoke), but if left in a weak bleach solution over night, they do return to their original bright white. Being white they blend in perfectly with standard socket boxes, but will look more out of place if you have fancy metallic or coloured socket boxes.
As to whether these covers work, as far as I'm concerned the answer is a resounding yes. As they are white and used in white socket boxes they do not draw attention to themselves and draw Freddy to them. When he does take notice of them he is unable to get his fingers underneath them to work them free and soon gives up trying. Of course they do not stop him from pressing the actual switch, but at least I know he's not going to be trying to put anything into the sockets. They also only work if you remember to replace them each time you've finished using the socket, and a word of warning if you tread on one barefoot that's been left on the floor, it really hurts.
While I am a firm believer that a child needs to be allowed to learn what they can and can't touch and that no house can be completely child-proofed, I also feel that these covers give me a little piece of mind that Freddy won't electrocute himself when I've took my eye off him for thirty seconds. They are easy to fit into sockets and easy for an adult to remove, while more importantly almost impossible for a child to remove. While they are no replacement for parental supervision and teaching your child that they must not play with electrical sockets, they do help prevent (or at least slow down) a child from sticking things in sockets. As I said before I do realise that there is a school of thought that these socket covers are not only not needed but also dangerous, but having used socket covers for the last twenty years (four older children) and having seen children attempt to push all sorts of things in sockets, I fall firmly outside that camp.
While I would recommend socket covers in general, I would recommend the Clippasafe Socket Covers in particular. They are far cheaper than many other brands, fit flusher than other brands I've tried over the years and are easier for an adult to remove than many other more expensive brands (I've broken nails trying to remove other brands) without being any easier for children to remove. So I'm heartily recommending the Clippasafe Socket Covers and recommending that if you have a baby or toddler that you buy some to cover sockets, especially those in rooms where you cannot supervise 24/7 (I have them in the hall and Freddy's bedroom). Just pick some up before you actually need them (before the child is crawling) to give yourself time to getting into the habit of replacing every time you've finished using the socket.
Before buying and using these socket covers, or any other make, have a look at www.fatallyflawed.org.uk.
The 13A "square" pin sockets used in the UK have had to conform to British Standard 1363 since the late 1940s. They HAVE to have a built in safety shutter on the live contacts. This makes them inherently very safe and no other safety cover is necessary.
In many sockets these shutters are opened by inserting the earth (top) pin. So-called "safety" covers make the ideal tool for doing this when turned upside down or when broken. (See above website).
Far from adding to safety, most, possibly all, "safety" socket covers REDUCE the safety of British sockets. They may be useful in other countries which do not use shuttered sockets - but not the British 13A type.
In contrast to BS 1363 sockets which are carefully engineered by well informed people, these "safety" covers are an ill-informed attempt to solve a problem which does not exist, and will usually introduce a serious hazard which did not previously arise. The sockets conform to exacting safety standards - there are none for these covers.
If you want to spend money ensuring that your sockets are even safer, make sure your ring mains are protected by a residual Current Device (RCD), or have RCDs installed.
The one star rating has only been awarded because it is not possible to award none.
Summary: See www.fatallyflawed.org.uk
Unique, patented design. Removed from socket by inserting the plug's earth pin into cover and pulling, ensuring no more broken fingernails