US2820842A - Safety cover plate for electrical receptacles - Google Patents

Safety cover plate for electrical receptacles Download PDF

Info

Publication number
US2820842A
US2820842A US41785254A US2820842A US 2820842 A US2820842 A US 2820842A US 41785254 A US41785254 A US 41785254A US 2820842 A US2820842 A US 2820842A
Authority
US
Grant status
Grant
Patent type
Prior art keywords
electrical
shutter
wall
receptacle
cover
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Expired - Lifetime
Application number
Inventor
John V Meistrell
Original Assignee
John V Meistrell
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Grant date

Links

Images

Classifications

    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01RLINE CONNECTORS; CURRENT COLLECTORS
    • H01R13/00Details of coupling devices of the kinds covered by groups H01R12/70 or H01R24/00-H01R33/00
    • H01R13/44Means for preventing access to live contacts
    • H01R13/447Shutter or cover plate
    • H01R13/453Shutter or cover plate opened by engagement of counterpart
    • H01R13/4532Rotating shutter

Description

l Jan. 21, 1958 J. v. MEls'rRELL SAFETY COVER PLATE FOR ELECTRICALRECEPTACLES Filed March l22, 1954 Y lf-sewn WKK* INVENTOR.

Joy/v ME/sreeu. BWM@ www United States Patent SAFETY COVER PLATE FOR ELECTRICAL RECEPTACLES John v. Matan-eli, Manhattan Beach, caiif.

Application March 22, 1954, Serial No. 417,852

4 Claims. (Cl. 174-67) My invention relates generally to electrical receptacles or outlets, and more particularly toa cover plate which is adapted to close the contact sockets when they are not in use.

Since the electrical contacts of the conventional outlet are continuously energized they represent a source of danger for electrical shocks and short circuits. While the prongs of an electrical plug are designed to be safely inserted within the contact sockets, it is possible to cause a short circuit by the insertion of a wire or other metal object into the sockets Small children fail to appreciate this danger' and are often injured by such an accident.

Many attempts have been made to make the electrical receptacle more safe by the provision of closure mechanisms that close off the contact sockets when a plug is not engaged therein. A major difficulty with such prior devices is that they require the changing of all of the household electrical receptacles from the conventional type to the type embodying the closure mechanism. Some even require the use of a special electrical plug for operation. In addition to the expense involved in purchasing new receptacles, such a change requires a competent electrician to see that the new receptacles are properly connected in place, necessitates shutting off the power supply, and involves various other troubles. For these economic reasons alone, such safety receptacles have not gained widespread use.

In addition, many of the prior closure mechanisms are not easily operable, and in particular, make it difficult to insert the prongs of the plug in the socket when it is desired to use the receptacle. Still other devices are so complex in construction as to be easily damaged and otherwise impractical for extended usage.

A primary purpose of this invention is to provide protective means for the electrical receptacle which are embodied entirely within a cover plate that replaces the usual decorative cover plates. The use of cover plates to cover the unsightly portions of the receptacle and the surrounding portions of the outlet box and wall edges is universal practice in all modern electrical installations. Such cover plates are secured to the receptacle by one or two screws and are quite easy to remove and replace. More important, the cover plates are not connected to the electrical circuits in any manner, and the changing of them may be done by the most inexperienced person, without danger. It is also obvious that the changing of the cover plates alone is considerably less expensive than replacing all of the electrical receptacles.

An equally important object of the invention is to provide a safety cover plate having shutter means which are easily moved from a position closing the contact sockets to a position permitting the insertion of electrical prongs therein.

It is also an object of the invention to provide a cover plate having shutter means which are movable to a limitingposition in whichfexact and simple alignment of Patented Jan. 21, 1958` the electrical prongs for insertion inthe contact sockets is made possible.

A further object of the invention is to provide a cover plate of compact and simple design whereby to replace the conventional cover plates without noticeable change in appearance.

Still another object of the invention is to provide a safety cover plate having a minimum number of rugged and durable parts, and so designed as to protect the operating mechanism from damage.

These and other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description of a preferred form thereof, and from an inspection of the accompanying drawings, in which: A

Figure l is a perspective view showing the preferred form of safety cover plate installed in place;

Figure 2 is a vertical section taken along thev line 2-2 of Figure l; l

Figure 3 is a cross-section taken along the line 3 3 of Figure l, showing the shutters in closed position;

Figure 4 is a view similar to Figure 3 showing the shutters in open position; and

Fig. 5 is an exploded view showing the various elements of the device.

Referring now to the drawings and particularly Figure l thereof, the numeral 10 indicates generally a preferred form of the cover plate. As illustrated, plate 10 is designed for use with a dual electrical receptacle or outlet, but it may also be designed for use with a single outlet. Plate 1t) is of rectangular shape and is typically of the same dimensions as the conventional cover plate which it is designed to replace.

As is ybest seen in Figure 2, plate 10 is adapted to be secured to a conventional electrical receptacle 11 by a typical center mounting screw 12. Receptacle 11 is of rectangular block shape and is normally fixed in position by a rear mounting strap 13 having end portions fastenable to a rigid outlet box not shown. On the front of receptacle 11 are upper and lower socket faces 14 and 15 which are extended slightly forward from the body of the receptacle and are of generally circular shape. The faces 14 and 15 normally define a surface of contact to abut the end face of an electrical plug and are each provided with rearwardly open sockets 16 leading into the body of the receptacle. ln the usual two wire circuits, a pair of such sockets 16 are placed side by side and are of elongated vertically extending shape. Within the sockets 16 are electrical contacts 18 (Figures 3 and 4) adapted to be engaged by prongs 19 projecting from a standard electrical plug 20 that is secured to the end of anextension wire 21. Suitable conductors from the wiring circuit lead to receptacle 11 and are connected to the contacts 18. The receptacle 11 and the plug 20 are, of course, commonplace and form no part of my invention, being merely describedherein to illustrate the operation of my safety cover plate.

Returning to the cover plate 10, it will be seen to be formed of built up construction. Preferably, plate 10 is of plastic construction but other insulating materials may be used. Plate 1t) has a rear wall 25 which may best be seen in Figure 5. Vertically spaced `within the wa1l25 are a pair of upper and lower openings 26 and 27 which are shaped to receive the socket faces 14 and 15 therein. Surrounding each of the openings 26 and 27 is an enlarged forwardly open recess 29 which is lof shallow -depth and rectangular shape. Recesses 29 are separated by a central bar 30 and the latter may be apertured at 31 to receive securing screw 12.

In order to lighten wall 25 it may be provided with open portions 33 surrounding the openings 26 and 27. However, at one side of openings 26 and 27 a solid wall portion 34 is provided and therein aredelined shallow troughs 35, l

:raad-84.2

Troughs 35`ext'end laterally towards the openings 26 and 27 butV are spaced therefrom so as to` have solid end surfaces. It should also be noted' that the depth of openings 2,6,and 27 rearwardly of the recesses 29 is substantially equal to the depth of socket faces 14 and 15. Thus the socket faces 14 and 1S lie flush with the rear wall surface of recesses29 when the cover plate is installed.

Mounted within each of the recesses 29 is a thin shutter 38' of rectangular shape and formed of non-conducting material. Shutters 38 are of the same height as recesses 29 but' are of reduced width so as to be laterally slidable therein. The thickness of'shutters 38 is just equal to the depth of recesses 29 so that the outer surfaces of the shutters are substantially flush with the front of wall 25.

lA front wall 39 is` secured to rear wall 25 around the outer edges thereof so as to hold shutters 38 within recesses 29. Preferably, corner lugs 40 project rearwardly from front wall 39 and' are adapted to engage within apertures 41 in rear wall 25 to secure the walls tightly together. The rim of wall 39 may also be bonded to wall 25 by a suitable adhesive, if desired. Within the front of wall 39 is an enlarged opening 42 of a shape, as is best seen in Figure l, to expose substantially all of the central portion of both the shutters 38 as well as the central bar 30. Opening 42 permits plugs 20 to be placed directly against shutters 38 so as to engage within the receptacle 11.

Shutters 38 are each provided with spaced vertical slots 45 therein which are of a size and location to receive the electrical prongs 19 therethrough. As is best seen in Figure 3, when shutters 38 are moved to the right hand end of recesses 29, the slots 45 do not align with either of the contact sockets 16. Therefore, it is not possible to pass a wirev or other object through slots 45 to make electrical connection with the internal socket contacts 18. This prevents accidental electrical shocks or short circuits, and is a very advantageous safeguard for small children.

In order to hold shutters 38 normally in the position shown in Figure 3, I provide spring means 46 which urge the 4shutters to the right. Spring means 46 take the form of small coil springs which are mounted Within troughs 35. The diametral width of springs 46 is such that they project forwardly from the shallow troughs 35 into the recesses 29 and are thus adapted to engage the edge of shutters 38.

With shutters 38 in the position of Figure 3, the insertion of electrical prongs 19 into slots 45 is limited by engagement with the front of receptacle 11. When it is desired to connect a plug 20 to receptacle 11, the prongs 19 are fitted into sl-'ots 45 and are then used as keys to move shutter 38 to the left against the urging of spring 46. l

When spring 46 is fully compressed, the shutter 38 has moved into the position shown in Figure 4. Prongs 19, slots 45, and sockets 16 are then all in alignment, and plug 20 may be pushed inwardly so that prongs 19 engage against the electrical contacts 18. Once prongs 19 have entered within sockets 16, the shutter 38 is prevented from moving to the right under the urging of springs 46. It should particularly be noted that the limiting position of shutter 38 as shown in Figure 4 is such as to cause exact alignment between slots 45 and sockets 16. Thus, there is no difficulty in inserting prongs 19, since shutter 38 is merely pushed as far as it will go to the left, and in this position the prongs 19 are easily pushed into sockets 16.

From the foregoing it can be seen that I have provided a safety cover plate which can be used with any conventional receptacle and does not require electrical work for installation. Changes of design and construction may be made without departing from the scope of the invention, and I do not wish to be restricted to the foregoing details except as defined in the appended claims.

I claim:

1. A safety cover plate for installation on an electrical receptacle of the plug-in type, which comprises: a hat rear wall having an opening adapted to receive 'the socket face-of said receptacle and an enlarged forwardly open recess of rectangular shape, said wall having a short laterally eatending trough therein at the side of said opening; a shutter mounted for lateral sliding movement in said. recess directly in front of the plane of said receptacle socket faces, and formed with spaced slots therein for receiving therethrough the prongs of an electrical plug; a forward wall secured to said rear wall and conlining said shutter to said recess, said forward wall having an opening therein exposing the face of said shutter surrounding said slots and of a size larger than the face of a standard electrical plug whereby sai-d plug may seat directly against said shutter; and spring means confined within said trough andy projecting forwardly into said recess to engage with said shutter for urging said shutter to a position wherein said slots are out of alignment with the contact sockets of said receptacle, and yieldable so that said shutter may be moved to align said slots with said contact sockets.

2. A safety cover plate for installation on an electrical receptacle of the plug-in typc,which comprises: a flat rear wall having an opening adapted to receive the socket face of said receptacle and an enlarged forwardly open recess of rectangular shape, said wall having a short laterally extending trough therein at the side of said opening; a shutter mounted for lateral sliding movement in said recess directly in front of the plane of said receptacle socket faces, and formed with spaced Slots therein for receiving therethrough the prongs of an electrical plug, said shutter being movable from a iirst limiting position wherein said slots are all out of alignment with the contact sockets of said receptacle to a second limiting position wherein said slots are aligned with said contact sockets; a forward wall secured to said rear Wall and confining said shutter to said recess, said forward wall having an opening therein exposing the face of said shutter surrounding said slots and of a size larger than the face of a standard electrical plug whereby said plug may seat directly against said shutter; and spring means conlined within said trough and projecting forwardly into saidV recess to engage with said shutter for urging said shutter to said first limiting position and yieldable so that said shutter may be moved to said second limiting position.

3. A safety cover plate for installation on an electrical receptacle of the plug-in type, which comprises: a hat rear Wall formed of insulating material and having a generally circular opening adapted to receive the socket face of said receptacle and an enlarged forwardly open recess of rectangular shape and shallow depth, said wall having a short laterally extending trough therein spaced from the side of said opening; a thin shutter formed of insulating material and mounted for lateral sliding movement in said recess directly in front of the plane of said receptacle socket faces, said shutter having spaced slots for receiving therethrough the prongs of an electrical plug and being movable from a first limiting position wherein said slots are all out of alignment with the contact sockets of said receptacle to a second limiting position wherein said slots are aligned with said contact sockets; a forward wall formed of insulating material and abutting said rear wall around said .recess and secured thereto for confining said shutter to said recess, said forward wall having an opening thereinA exposing the face of said shutter around said slots and of a size larger than the face of a standard electrical plug whereby saidplug may seat directly against said shutter; and a coil spring mounted Within said trough and partially `projecting forwardly into said recess to engage with an edge of said shutter for urging said shutter to said first limiting position and yieldable so that said shutter may be moved to said second limiting position.4 y

4. A safety cover plate for installation on a dual electrical receptacle of the plug-in type, which comprises: a iat rear wall formed of insulating material and having a pair of vertically spaced openings therein adapted to receive the socket faces of saidreceptacle therein and an enlarged forwardly open recess of rectangular shape and shallow depth around each opening, said wall having a short laterally extending trough therein spaced from the side of each of said openings; a thin shutter formed of insulating material and mounted for lateral sliding movement in each of said recesses directly in front of the plane of said receptacle socket faces, said shutter having spaced slots receiving therethrough the prongs of an electrical plug and being movable from a first limiting position wherein said slots are all out of alignment with the contact sockets of said receptacle to a second limiting position wherein said slots are aligned with said contact sockets; a forward wall formed of insulating material, abutting said rear wal1 around the edge thereof and secured thereto for confining said shutters to said recesses, 15 2,641,627

said forward wall having a central opening therein exposing the faces of said shutters around said slots and of a size larger than the face of a standard electrical plug whereby said plug may seat directly against said shutter; and a coil spring mounted within each of said troughs and partially projecting forwardly into said recesses to engage with an edge of said shutters for urging said shutters to said first limiting position and yieldable so that said shutters may be moved to said second limiting 10 position.

References Cited in the tile of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Huber Aug. 2, 1949 Lewis June 9, 1953

US2820842A 1954-03-22 1954-03-22 Safety cover plate for electrical receptacles Expired - Lifetime US2820842A (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US2820842A US2820842A (en) 1954-03-22 1954-03-22 Safety cover plate for electrical receptacles

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US2820842A US2820842A (en) 1954-03-22 1954-03-22 Safety cover plate for electrical receptacles

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
US2820842A true US2820842A (en) 1958-01-21

Family

ID=23655635

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US2820842A Expired - Lifetime US2820842A (en) 1954-03-22 1954-03-22 Safety cover plate for electrical receptacles

Country Status (1)

Country Link
US (1) US2820842A (en)

Cited By (28)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3039073A (en) * 1959-03-02 1962-06-12 Stephen A Walker Self-locking electrical plug and socket
US3068442A (en) * 1961-01-16 1962-12-11 John T Kubik Safety guard for wall sockets
US3113174A (en) * 1961-08-02 1963-12-03 Electr O Mech Inc Cover for an electrical outlet
US3147056A (en) * 1962-06-27 1964-09-01 Rca Corp Protective interlock structure
US3201740A (en) * 1964-07-17 1965-08-17 George J Rubens Adhesively attached resilient safety device for electrical connectors
US3810070A (en) * 1972-09-18 1974-05-07 Eagle Electric Mfg Co Inc Terminal connector for electric extension cord
US3865456A (en) * 1973-08-02 1975-02-11 Amp Inc Cover plate for electrical outlet
US3980371A (en) * 1975-02-18 1976-09-14 Pacific Electricord Safety electrical outlet
US4040698A (en) * 1976-10-12 1977-08-09 Nilson V. Ortiz Electrical safety outlet and plug
US4302624A (en) * 1980-05-16 1981-11-24 Newman Fredric M Electric wall outlet protector
US4379607A (en) * 1980-10-06 1983-04-12 Slater Electric Inc. Shuttered receptacle
US4544219A (en) * 1984-06-01 1985-10-01 Harvey Hubbell Incorporated Shuttered electrical receptacle
US4737599A (en) * 1986-10-02 1988-04-12 Serge Fontaine Electric outlet safety cover
US4774384A (en) * 1987-06-04 1988-09-27 Gregory Eric J Safety cover for electrical outlets
US4798916A (en) * 1987-08-28 1989-01-17 Engel Stephen M Safety plate for electrical outlet
US4886465A (en) * 1988-06-09 1989-12-12 Warner Mark E Electrical outlet protective cover
US4970349A (en) * 1989-02-21 1990-11-13 Jones Marcus C Safety outlet cover assembly
US5011419A (en) * 1989-12-21 1991-04-30 Jack Maan Safety socket
US5198618A (en) * 1992-02-10 1993-03-30 Gary Shieh Safety cover plate for an electrical socket
WO1995008202A2 (en) * 1993-09-17 1995-03-23 Buckshaw Dennis J Safety plate assembly
US5477010A (en) * 1993-09-17 1995-12-19 Buckshaw; Dennis J. Safety plate assembly
US5563373A (en) * 1994-12-05 1996-10-08 Doroslovac; Slobodan Safety shield for electrical outlet
US6545218B1 (en) * 2002-05-14 2003-04-08 Donald J. Blaess Safety cover for dual electrical wall mounted outlets
US6780031B1 (en) 2003-04-05 2004-08-24 David John Valls Child-proof electrical outlet plate
US7541541B1 (en) * 2005-11-03 2009-06-02 Taymac Corporation Safety outlet cover
US7595449B1 (en) 2008-09-24 2009-09-29 Mitchell Casimir Dyderski Electrical outlet safety cover plate
US8399765B1 (en) * 2006-11-03 2013-03-19 Hubbell Incorporated Safety outlet cover
US9966688B2 (en) 2016-04-06 2018-05-08 Canmind Innovations Inc. Safety faceplate for electrical receptacle

Citations (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2477803A (en) * 1946-06-25 1949-08-02 Clarence A Huber Electrical outlet safety device
US2641627A (en) * 1952-06-13 1953-06-09 David C Lewis Safety cover plate for flush type electric wall receptacles

Patent Citations (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2477803A (en) * 1946-06-25 1949-08-02 Clarence A Huber Electrical outlet safety device
US2641627A (en) * 1952-06-13 1953-06-09 David C Lewis Safety cover plate for flush type electric wall receptacles

Cited By (30)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3039073A (en) * 1959-03-02 1962-06-12 Stephen A Walker Self-locking electrical plug and socket
US3068442A (en) * 1961-01-16 1962-12-11 John T Kubik Safety guard for wall sockets
US3113174A (en) * 1961-08-02 1963-12-03 Electr O Mech Inc Cover for an electrical outlet
US3147056A (en) * 1962-06-27 1964-09-01 Rca Corp Protective interlock structure
US3201740A (en) * 1964-07-17 1965-08-17 George J Rubens Adhesively attached resilient safety device for electrical connectors
US3810070A (en) * 1972-09-18 1974-05-07 Eagle Electric Mfg Co Inc Terminal connector for electric extension cord
US3865456A (en) * 1973-08-02 1975-02-11 Amp Inc Cover plate for electrical outlet
US3980371A (en) * 1975-02-18 1976-09-14 Pacific Electricord Safety electrical outlet
US4040698A (en) * 1976-10-12 1977-08-09 Nilson V. Ortiz Electrical safety outlet and plug
US4302624A (en) * 1980-05-16 1981-11-24 Newman Fredric M Electric wall outlet protector
US4379607A (en) * 1980-10-06 1983-04-12 Slater Electric Inc. Shuttered receptacle
US4544219A (en) * 1984-06-01 1985-10-01 Harvey Hubbell Incorporated Shuttered electrical receptacle
US4737599A (en) * 1986-10-02 1988-04-12 Serge Fontaine Electric outlet safety cover
US4774384A (en) * 1987-06-04 1988-09-27 Gregory Eric J Safety cover for electrical outlets
US4798916A (en) * 1987-08-28 1989-01-17 Engel Stephen M Safety plate for electrical outlet
US4886465A (en) * 1988-06-09 1989-12-12 Warner Mark E Electrical outlet protective cover
US4970349A (en) * 1989-02-21 1990-11-13 Jones Marcus C Safety outlet cover assembly
US5011419A (en) * 1989-12-21 1991-04-30 Jack Maan Safety socket
US5198618A (en) * 1992-02-10 1993-03-30 Gary Shieh Safety cover plate for an electrical socket
WO1995008202A2 (en) * 1993-09-17 1995-03-23 Buckshaw Dennis J Safety plate assembly
WO1995008202A3 (en) * 1993-09-17 1995-04-20 Dennis J Buckshaw Safety plate assembly
US5449860A (en) * 1993-09-17 1995-09-12 Buckshaw; Dennis J. Safety plate assembly
US5477010A (en) * 1993-09-17 1995-12-19 Buckshaw; Dennis J. Safety plate assembly
US5563373A (en) * 1994-12-05 1996-10-08 Doroslovac; Slobodan Safety shield for electrical outlet
US6545218B1 (en) * 2002-05-14 2003-04-08 Donald J. Blaess Safety cover for dual electrical wall mounted outlets
US6780031B1 (en) 2003-04-05 2004-08-24 David John Valls Child-proof electrical outlet plate
US7541541B1 (en) * 2005-11-03 2009-06-02 Taymac Corporation Safety outlet cover
US8399765B1 (en) * 2006-11-03 2013-03-19 Hubbell Incorporated Safety outlet cover
US7595449B1 (en) 2008-09-24 2009-09-29 Mitchell Casimir Dyderski Electrical outlet safety cover plate
US9966688B2 (en) 2016-04-06 2018-05-08 Canmind Innovations Inc. Safety faceplate for electrical receptacle

Similar Documents

Publication Publication Date Title
US3428936A (en) Safety cover for an electrical outlet receptacle
US3293588A (en) Electrical outlet locking cover
US3491327A (en) Safety cover for electrical plug outlets
US3317881A (en) Safety device for electrical receptacles
US3049688A (en) Portable electrical receptacle box
US3025486A (en) Three way electric plug
US7168969B1 (en) Adjustable right angle electrical plug with an interchangeable plug assembly
US4662697A (en) Safety device for electrical outlet
US3265888A (en) Lighted receptacle
US6555771B2 (en) Electric shock-proof security device of a receptacle
US2427349A (en) Electrical receptacle
US2895119A (en) Plug and face plate
US4895528A (en) Universal high/low voltage hose-to-wall fitting for current-carrying flexible hose
US3609647A (en) Electrical receptacle
US1952719A (en) Outlet box cover
US4995017A (en) Safety power receptacle
US3002175A (en) Electrical connector housing
US3865456A (en) Cover plate for electrical outlet
US5095182A (en) Shockproof safety outlet
US7355117B2 (en) Tamper-resistant electrical wiring device system
US3811104A (en) Safety device for electrical outlets
US3068442A (en) Safety guard for wall sockets
US1171914A (en) Receptacle and plug.
US4600258A (en) Security socket
US5045640A (en) Child care electrical outlet safety cover