Thursday, December 9, 2021

British Plugs: Are They Safer Than All Other Plugs?

British Plugs: Are They Safer Than All Other Plugs?

In almost all homes in developed or developing countries, there is at least one power outlet within the household. This fact, combined with the likelihood of kids on the premises, the possibility of unexpected power surges, and the need to safeguard our property, the industry has been tasked with making their plugs safer. 

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Plug Designs, therefore, differ from one place to another. However, the British plug British Plugs: Are They Safer Than All Other Plugs?Design is arguably the safest there is today. This article will explore some of the features that make British Design so safe.

The Main Features of a British Plug

If you have been to the United Kingdom, you have probably come across the incredibly bulky Design of the standard U.K. wall plug, also known as a wall socket. It has three lumpy pins shaped like cuboids. At first glance, this Design seems ridiculous and inefficient.

The British plug is even more unique when compared to the U.S. and European wall plug models. These two alternative wall sockets can deliver power to your electronics in half the distance. However, the British plug stands out in other ways.

The U.K Design is a classic that is certifiably safer than other wall sockets from around the world. However, the most important thing to note is that every extra ounce of weight on the United Kingdom wall plug adds to its incredible safety level to all its users. It has the following features built into it to achieve this purpose.

The Design of the wall socket: British Plugs: Are They Safer Than All Other Plugs?

Any person with a metallic fork, a screwdriver without a proper handle, or a simple wire can jam it into the wire and end up getting pumped with massive volts of electricity. This would, however, not be the case in the U.K. 

Plugs in Britain require at least two screwdrivers to achieve the same feat. The sockets come with a safety spring that is easily bypassed using the three-pronged plug. Like a tumbler in a lock, the grounding prong is responsible for “unlocking” the socket to allow the more dangerous live and neutral terminals to get to the power.

The Three-Prong Design: 

Just like its counterpart from the United States of America, the U.K plug also has three prongs. These prongs make it nearly impossible to shock yourself accidentally. The U.K wall plug is unique in that it has an extra layer of protection.

Each prong gets protected with electrical insulation comprised of a non-conductor. Due to this extra layer of protection, the user cannot be shocked even when they touch a half-inserted plug. 

Image source: https://unsplash.com/photos/nBfTARHPxiU 

There is an electrical machining process known as electrical discharge machining. Every time there is a spark, a small bit of the metal of both the plug and the socket in contact with each other evaporates. 

This phenomenon is most common in two-pronged plugs. The extra prong in the U.K Design is meant to act as an earth wire. This wire ensures that stray charge is conducted away from exposed prongs to avoid electric shock.

The Design of the circuit: British Plugs: Are They Safer Than All Other Plugs?

Aside from everything we have discussed so far, it is also worth noting that the wiring within the plug is done to promote additional safety. Besides being intuitive, it is also carefully designed to ensure that if the plug gets yanked and the wiring loosens, the live and neutral terminals are the first to get detached. The earthing wires, which prevent human electrocution when they touch the circuit, are the last to fray.

The U.K plug utilizes the ring circuit wiring. Here, you have, for example, a 40-amp fuse in the mains. From here, you send out a pair of wires, each one with only 20 amps, going around the house. This allows you to supply 40 amps of power using only 20-amp wires, which are cheaper.

Built-In fail-safe: 

During the second world war, a shortage of copper led the British government to add fuses into the Design of every plug. This way, the wiring was no longer direct. A sort of fail-safe was added to protect their uses further.

Although this added to the bulk of the British plug Design, it also made it safer. In the event of an unexpected electrical surge, the fuse would blow, breaking the circuit. This would prevent fires, electrocutions, and other injuries. This also makes the U.K plug easy to fix in case it shorts out.

Image source: https://unsplash.com/photos/04E5zC6FXLg 

Conclusion.

The British plug is Designed to protect homes against fires and people against electrocution. It also has in-built fail-safes that keep home appliances and other electronics from shorting out due to power surges. Having discussed the outstanding features that make the British plug the better option, it is safe to infer that it is safer than all the other plugs. 

Links:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/wwtwo/ 

https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/electrical-safety 

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/electrical-insulation

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