I find myself writing about plugs again!


We are finding more and more non compliant plugs and adapters, we have found them in schools and businesses and more worryingly some have actually been passed by a ‘competent’ PAT test engineer.

So what’s wrong with these plugs/adapters?


The plugs in the image above do not:


  • Have any BS1363 markings – FAIL
  • There is no fuse protection on 4 out of the 5 – FAIL
  • All of the plugs have a partially insulated earth pin – FAIL
  • The pins are too close to the edge of the plug  FAIL
  • Have correct pin diameters of BS1363 –FAIL
  • No shutters on the opening of the socket – FAIL


So with the failings of the plugs above, we have managed to remove our protection against electric shock (partially insulated earth), we have managed to remove our over current protection (fuse) and we risk electric shock pulling the plug in and out as the pins are too close to the edge of the plug. We could plug the adapter in the socket and have exposed live conductors that little fingers can access.


A quick look on eBay and Amazon today confirms these are still freely available, please ensure your plugs and adapters comply.


Any competent PAT tester should look at these and fail them straight away, having pointed out the issues to some of the users of these plugs the response we get sometimes, well it works! Yes it may work but that is not our safety inspection, if things go wrong, who is at fault, will you chase the eBay seller, will your track down the factory in Asia?


In fact the responsibility lies with the duty holder of your business, who this is you should know. It could be a business owner, director or someone else. It is your responsibility that you have sufficient and suitable processes and procedures in place ensure you can identify these issues.


The business that hired the PAT testing company that passed some of these, well they hired the company as they did PAT testing for 50p per item…..


WOW!  what a great deal, they charged them 50p for the fake non compliant adapter (they passed it) and then they charged them another 50p for the non compliant US lead that attached to the adapter (they passed it), so this amazingly cheap PAT testing company charged them twice (£1) and passed a potentially dangerous and non compliant lead and adapter.


Not such a great deal after all.


On our PAT testing courses all candidates get a training aid, these plugs and adapters would not have got past point number 2 on our checklist.