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Most European countries adopted a plug design where the plug is recessed into the socket so any sparks are contained within it and naked live wires can't be physically touched.
Besides, US voltage is 110V versus 220-240V in Europe, so it gives rise to much higher (4 times) currents and much higher ohmic heating of wires.
Posted Aug 16, 2012 21:47 UTC (Thu) by dlang (✭ supporter ✭, #313)
that must be a relatively recent development (it wasn't that way the last time I traveled)
what do the power strips and extension cords look like that have this sort of protection?
by the way, as for the voltage difference, the argument can also be made that the higher European voltage is more dangerous.
but voltage differences are not "terrifying regulations", nor are they regulations that allow "shoot sparks when you unplug devices" (something that's more likely with higher voltages)
Posted Aug 16, 2012 23:47 UTC (Thu) by Cyberax (✭ supporter ✭, #52523)
>but voltage differences are not "terrifying regulations", nor are they regulations that allow "shoot sparks when you unplug devices" (something that's more likely with higher voltages)
Sparks probably also happen within European plugs, but they happen _within_ them.
Posted Aug 17, 2012 12:16 UTC (Fri) by man_ls (subscriber, #15091)
Posted Aug 17, 2012 13:19 UTC (Fri) by ekj (guest, #1524)
No, this ain't new. It's been this way for atleast a decade, possibly 2.
Posted Aug 24, 2012 22:24 UTC (Fri) by JanC_ (guest, #34940)
Posted Aug 24, 2012 23:49 UTC (Fri) by anselm (subscriber, #2796)
It's been this way for atleast a decade, possibly 2.
As a matter of fact, that type of plug was standardised in the early 1960s. It has been around literally for generations.
This »Europlug« design is popular for devices requiring up to 2.5 A which do not need to be grounded, in all European countries except the UK, Ireland, and a few other places that use the UK system like Malta or Cyprus. The Swiss system is also subtly different. There are other, more sturdy plugs used for equipment that requires stronger currents, must be earthed, or is used outside.
The UK system uses large plugs with three rectangular prongs. These plugs are usually fused, and are incompatible with the Europlug, although UK bathrooms will often feature Europlug sockets to accommodate electric shavers. It is possible to manufacture »converter« plugs that fit around a Europlug, contain the requisite fuse, and have the three prongs required for a UK socket.
Posted Aug 17, 2012 13:21 UTC (Fri) by nix (subscriber, #2304)
Posted Aug 20, 2012 9:50 UTC (Mon) by etienne (subscriber, #25256)
Ever seen someone using a pair of scissor in the earth of a UK socket to open the live holes and plug-in by force a european 2 pin plug?
Posted Aug 20, 2012 12:08 UTC (Mon) by BlueLightning (subscriber, #38978)
Posted Aug 20, 2012 22:25 UTC (Mon) by nix (subscriber, #2304)
It is perhaps thirty years since I saw anyone resorting to *that*. :)
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