Universal Socket Outlets

Universal socket outlets

As part of Electrical Safety First’s electrical product safety screening programme, an independent laboratory was commissioned to assess the safety implications of a sample selection of universal socket-outlets in foreseeable conditions of use where they are installed in the UK for domestic and commercial use. 

The programme also considered the compliance of the sample selection to the requirements of applicable product standards, and of the legal implications of installing and using these sockets in the UK. 

Five universal socket-outlets were randomly selected and purchased from online retailers (including UK suppliers).  Three were switched socket-outlets.

The test laboratory found that the universal socket-outlets assessed in this investigation do not comply with the UK General Product Safety Regulations 2005, the safely requirements of the UK ‘Plug and Socket Safety Regulations 1994’ or BS 1363, or the UK’s specification for 13 A switched and unswitched socket-outlets.

Universal socket-outlets pose serious potential hazards and would not satisfy UK safety requirements. The laboratory also recommended that electricians should be alerted to the potential hazards of both domestic and commercial installation of these devices.