Note: the term “child protection” may not be used in any advertising for SCHUKO socket outlets with increased contact protection

Background: Why we are addressing this topic

A tragic accident with fatal consequences occurred last year when a toddler playing in a nursery touched live parts of a socket outlet with a shutter that had been manufactured by one of our competitors and certified by VDE. This incident led the VDE Testing and Certification Institute to point out that VDE certification for these types of socket outlets with shutters is in no way sufficient justification to advertise them as being “childproof” or having similar qualities.  The Institute also immediately banned the use of its VDE mark on socket outlets with shutters that are advertised using terms such as “child protection” or “childproof”, condemning them as misleading. The market surveillance authorities also regard this type of product description as deceptive, as it falsely suggests that children could safely use these socket outlets in any way and without supervision. The incident at the nursery just goes to show that danger to life and limb can never be completely ruled out if a socket outlet with a shutter is used incorrectly.

Gira adopted this approach years ago in order to protect consumers. We have therefore not described our socket outlets with shutters using terms such as “child protection” or “childproof” for some time. We informed all of our market partners about this when the changes were made.

Important information: Never use “child protection”, “childproof” or similar terms when describing Gira’s SCHUKO socket outlets with increased contact protection (shutters)

The VDE Testing and Certification Institute’s announcement is an opportunity for us to reaffirm the situation for all electronics wholesalers and traders. They may never use “child protection”, “childproof” or similar terms when describing Gira’s SCHUKO socket outlets with increased contact protection (shutters). We also wish to expressly inform you that we will seek recourse against any market partners that have ignored this notification and misleadingly described this Gira product using attributes such as “childproof” in the event of a damage claim involving the product because the specialist customers would be the party responsible for any damage in this case. So, in the event of personal injury or property damage, Gira would demand recovery from the party responsible for the damage for any claims for compensation for pain and suffering and/or for damages asserted against Gira as the manufacturer.

Please check your communications

While observing the market, which we are compelled to do, we discovered that certain electronics retail and trade partners are still using terms such as “child protection” and “childproof” in connection with the advertising and sale of our SCHUKO socket outlets with increased contact protection. With this in mind, we strongly urge you to check your communications across all active channels to see whether you are describing Gira socket outlets with increased contact protection (shutters) in this deceptive way. If you are, we hereby explicitly instruct you to immediately refrain from doing so and to change your communications to avoid the terms in question. We recommend that you instead make it clear that Gira socket outlets with increased contact protection (shutters) reduce the risk of coming into contact with live parts (increased contact protection in accordance with the DIN VDE 0620-1 standard). Our product also fulfils the new VDE specification – included in Section 10.5 of the current draft standard E DIN VDE 0620-1:2019-03 – according to which “using gauge 13, it must not be possible to touch live parts via the contact entry holes and via all other openings of the socket outlet that are accessible after its installation”. You can of course also use the relevant descriptions from our product catalogue to describe the Gira socket outlets with increased contact protection (shutters).

Do you have any further questions?

Please understand that we are required to inform all of our market partners in the interest of protecting our consumers effectively – even if these partners have already been describing and advertising the product category in question in line with the legal requirements.

If you have any questions, please contact the Gira representatives in your country.

For further information, you can also contact VDE directly [German Association for Electrical, Electronic and Information Technologies].

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