• New plug safety symbol required in SA

    Date:4 August 2020 Author: Leila Stein

    Plugs and socket systems are getting a new safety standards requirement as the South African Bureau of Standards has just put in place new updates.

    The changes for the SANS 164-0 outlet, the standard which has been used in the country since the change from flat-pin British style plugs, were published in the National Government Gazette. Among the updates was the introduction of a new symbol that warns users not to plug adapters into one another.

    According to MyBroadbandthis symbol hopes to warn users of the safety risk that putting multiple plugs on each other poses as it strains the socket-outlet and can cause a short-circuit.

    “This symbol has to be embossed on the adapter to warn consumers of the danger of plugging adapters into one another,”  Sadhvir Bissoon, the executive of standards at the SABS told MyBroadband. 

    Credit: SABS

    Overloading of plugs is common in South Africa, with many not understanding the dangers this can pose, especially in their homes.

    The SABS hopes that the introduction of this new symbol will help create awareness of this issue, and encourage more measured use of plugs in a safe way.

    Safe plug use

    1. Look for the SABS sign and only use SABS approved plugs.

    2. Do not overload plugs – even on an adapter.

    3. Do not pull a plug by the cord.

    4. Switch the switch off at the wall socket, before pulling the plug out.

    5. Do not connect electrical appliances to light sockets.

    6. Ensure that all wall sockets have their switches in the “off” mode, when not in use.

    7. Never put bare wires into sockets.

    8. Do not stick fingers into sockets.

    9. If there are babies in the house, ensure that wall sockets are covered with a safety cap, keeping the area safe for babies to play in.

    Image: Unsplash



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