Product Type: Clippasafe safety products
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Keeping the switch obsessive safe
Clippasafe Plug Socket Covers
Member Name: sandemp
Clippasafe Plug Socket Covers
Advantages: Unobtrusive, fit flush, easy for adult to remove, cheap
Disadvantages: Will stand out if you have anything other that white socket plates
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.
Summary: Protect little fingers from electrocution