MK Electric talks USB safety

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In aid of Child Safety Week (3 – 9 June), Emma Segelov, EMEA marketing operations manager at MK Electric talks top tips for keeping customers safe when it comes to USB integrated sockets. 

Mobile devices are a staple in almost every household in the UK and are particularly popular with children and young people. In fact, 93% of 15 year olds in the UK now own a smartphone1.

This increase in the number of mobile devices has driven a need for greater access to charging points and more flexible charging options. USB integrated sockets are a popular option because they feature both device agnostic USB ports and traditional 13A three-pin switchsocket outlets, for a variety of charging solutions. With so many different USB integrated sockets on the market, it can be difficult to choose the right one for the job.

Dynamic Device Recognition

Electricians should look out for USB integrated sockets that feature Dynamic Device Recognition (DDR) technology. This offers optimal and efficient charging every time by detecting the nuances between different smart devices and delivering the exact level of power required. This means the USB integrated socket would charge a device exactly the way the manufacturer’s charger would, offering protection from well documented and potential dangers such as house fires caused by using uncertified USB charging devices2.

Protection against overloads

Another facet of USB safety is protection against an overload or shortcircuit. It’s vital to ensure that any USB wiring device chosen has measures in place to prevent these hazards, as either an overload or shortcircuit could cause damage to the device, and more importantly, impact on user safety.

Shutter system

When it comes to 13A switchsocket outlets, it’s vital to specify options that feature a three-pin child-resistant shutter system, which comes as standard across all of MK Electric’s 13A sockets. These products are designed to prevent access to the electricity supply unless all three pins of a standard British plug are in position, which provides additional protection against electrocution for young children who might be unaware of the dangers of placing foreign objects into switchsocket outlets.

Take care with plastic

Homeowners and parents might insert plastic socket covers into their wiring devices in the hope of protecting their children, but, these may override built-in safety features and potentially cause fires.

As first line of defence in electrical safety, we would urge all electricians to look out for advanced safety features that come as standard with high-quality USB integrated sockets, helping to protect families all over the UK.