Socket insert covers “banned” by NHS?

As discussed in our previous article on this subject, the use of socket covers that “plug” into UK 13 A (BS 1363) socket outlets may not always improve safety.

On 30 April 2016, the NHS in Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and England published an Estate Facilities Alert, which says that electrical socket inserts should not be used, nor should they be supplied for use in any home or residence, and, further, that any in use should be removed and safely disposed of.

The technical bulletin is freely available here: https://www.cas.dh.gov.uk/ViewandAcknowledgment/ViewAlert.aspx?AlertID=102494

The Fatally Flawed web-site discusses the issues that can be encountered using certain safety socket covers with BS 1363 socket outlets.

Note: G Kenyon Technology Ltd is not responsible for the contents of other web-sites. The link to the NHS bulletin is an https link; certain devices may display an error when trying to connect, depending on user settings. Users must make their own decisions about the safety of web-sites before visiting them.
 

NEWS – Electrical Energy Storage: an introduction

We are proud to announce that our Principal, Graham Kenyon, is the lead author for a new June 2016 publication from IET Standards entitled “Electrical Energy Storage: an introduction”.
As the efficient use of energy becomes more important to domestic and commercial / industrial consumers alike, this technical briefing is a timely introduction to the technologies available. Supporting the forthcoming IET Code of Practice for Electrical Energy Storage Systems due to be published in Spring 2017, this technical briefing provides guidance on the selection of electrical energy storage systems, and will be useful to those involved in design, specification, implementation, operation and maintenance.

The IET Technical Briefing: Electrical Energy Storage: an introduction is freely available to download in PDF format from the IET web-site: http://www.theiet.org/storage-technical

http://www.theiet.org/resources/standards/-images/eesstb-cover-200.jpg
Cover of IET Standards Technical Briefing: Electrical Energy Storage: an introduction. Copyright, the IET.
Note: G Kenyon Technology Ltd is not responsible for the content of other web-sites linked from this post.

NEWS Practical considerations for d.c. installations

Our Principal, Graham Kenyon, is the lead author for this new December 2015 publication from IET Standards.
Supporting the IET Code of Practice for Low and Extra Low Voltage Direct Current Power Distribution in Buildings, this technical briefing provides guidance on the differences between how d.c. and a.c. circuits are considered, and will be useful to those involved in the design / specification, implementation, operation and maintenance of installations containing d.c. circuits and systems.

The IET Technical Briefing: Practical considerations for d.c. installations is freely available to download in PDF format from the IET web-site: http://www.theiet.org/resources/standards/dc-technical.cfm

IET dc tech brief cover
The cover of the IET Standards Technical Briefing – Practical considerations for d.c. installations. Copyright, Institution of Engineering and Technology.

 

 

NEWS Wiring Matters – Technical considerations for d.c. installations

Interest in utilising d.c. power systems within buildings is on the increase, for various applications relating to:

  • Distributed / local energy generation and storage
  • Electronic devices
  • Data centre installations
  • LED lighting

Our Principal, Graham Kenyon, has written an article for the IET’s Wiring Matters, which discusses the challenges that are presented by what could be seen as a change of direction for wiring systems in buildings.

The article can be found here: Wiring Matters – Technical considerations for d.c. installations

IET Wiring Matters

Note: G Kenyon Technology Ltd is not responsible for the contents of other web-sites.

RCD Protection for Sockets in BS7671: 2008(2015)



The IET Wiring Regulations, 17th Edition, BS7671: 2008, incorporating the 3rd Amendment (2015) was published on 1st January 2015, and comes into force for new designs from 1st July 2015 inclusive, as stated in the Introduction to the third amendment, 2015.

Some of the key changes should be particularly noted by designers of electrical installations.

One such change, in relation to Protection Against Electric Shock, is that of Regulation 411.3.3, whereby all socket outlets rated 20 A or less in a.c. systems must hence have 30 mA RCD protection, unless labelled / identified for a specific item of equipment, or, for installations other than dwellings, where a documented risk assessment has determined RCD protection is not necessary.

The changes to the Regulation should be considered by designers of installations for use with information technology equipment. The use of RCDs with such installations needs particular care, to avoid nuisance-tripping and loss of valuable service / data. Under these circumstances, the alternative provisions of Regulation 411.3.3 are available to the Designer, but, as indicated by BS7671, this should be backed up by relevant documentation as part of the design.

Where the risk assessment is undertaken as part of the design, due consideration of the intended use of the premises, and its operation and maintenance, is important. Ideally, the employer responsible for the installation in use and maintenance should be involved in that process.

It would also follow that relevant risk assessment information is taken into account for, and provided with, Operation & Maintenance manual information for the installation.

Further information on the standard and its related Guidance Notes and other publications can be found on the web-site of the Institution of Engineering and Technology: http://electrical.theiet.org/

Note: G Kenyon Technology Ltd is not responsible for the contents of other web-sites.

Are Safety Socket Covers a good idea for UK Sockets?

Scorched Socket on Fatally Flawed web-site

In many countries, socket outlets do not currently have built-in safety shutters to prevent access to live electricity with the plug removed, and in those countries using a “safety socket cover”, or “socket protector” may well be an excellent idea to help prevent children accessing live electricity, provided they are properly manufactured.

In the United Kingdom, however, British Standard socket outlets to BS 1363 have for decades incorporated safety shutters which are slowly opened as the plug is inserted.

The Fatally Flawed web-site discusses the issues that can be encountered using certain safety socket covers with BS 1363 socket outlets, which have apparently included instances of certain safety shutter systems being defeated if a cover is improperly used, or perhaps breaks.

It is certainly prudent for individuals and businesses to consider carefully the potential consequences of using socket covers with UK socket outlets, and balance these against the risks of not using them, which should take into account the safety measures already in place.

Note: G Kenyon Technology Ltd is not responsible for the contents of other web-sites.