VDE-certified sockets with shutter - a great choice for increased personal protection against electric shock

In April 2020, we pointed out that the VDE certification mark for sockets with a shutter may not be used together with terms such as “childproof”, “child protection” or similar, as this could possibly be misleading. We decided to take this step after a tragic incident had occurred at a daycare center. However, since sockets with shutters undoubtedly offer significantly better protection for the end user than conventional sockets, we would like to clarify in what way such sockets with the VDE mark may continue to be characterized and advertised in our view.

Dr.-Ing. Klaus Kreß

The standards that are applied when it comes to the certification of sockets exclusively contain the term “increased contact protection”. Terms such as “childproof” or “child protection” are not used and cannot currently be derived from these. At the same time, we do not want to rule out the possibility that further development of the normative requirements may enable suitable criteria to manufacture “sockets with child protection”.

We want to avoid consumers from continuing to reduce the property “increased protection against accidental contact” of sockets with shutters to the misleading “safe handling for children”. Therefore, the VDE Testing and Certification Institute advocates that the property on which the increased protection against accidental contact is based be specified more clearly for the end user, for example as “improved personal protection” or “increased personal protection” against electric shock. This concerns both fixed and mobile sockets with shutters.

Hence by demanding that labels such as “child-proof” or “child protection” be dispensed with, our intention is not to prevent the predominantly positive properties of sockets with shutters from being highlighted. On the contrary, as a globally recognized institution for the safety of electrical products, we wish to contribute to a clearer presentation of the core of this positive property: it is about the increased protection of all groups of people against electric shock. However, increased protection does not mean that the safe use of a socket can be guaranteed at all times. An electrical socket is not a toy and always requires attention and caution when used.

Therefore, we support the use of descriptive properties, such as “increased personal protection against electric shock” for VDE-certified sockets with shutters. We are convinced that the proposed wording underlines the protective advantage of sockets with shutters in an easy-to-understand manner for the end consumer and offers guidance on how to appropriately address buyers in the context of marketing.

Should you be interested in further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Current Information about the VDE Institute