Unlike much of the rest of Europe our old sockets are completely incompatable with BS1363 so there was some logic to supplying appliences without plugs at one stage. However, by the early 1980s it really didn't make a lot of sense. In the rest of Europe things have remained relatively compatable. Schuko having being around since at least the 1920s.
There are still some BS546 outlets (in UK/Ireland) and the odd schuko outlet (in ireland). [The term "Schuko" was never used here. It was always refered to as "2-Pin side earthed."] So for safety sake they always include an information card attached to the cable.
This card seems to have a semi-standard text and is attached to EVERY applience sold.
This applience has been supplied with a moulded plug conforming to BS1363/A (IS 401/A) which has been fitted with a 13 amp fuse. If this plug is not suitable for the outlets in your home cut it off and dispose of it carefully. Fit a suitable plug making sure that the applience is protected with appropriate fusing at the distribution panel.
There's usually a note about safe disposal of the moulded plug as it could be leathal if inserted into a compatable outlet elsewhere in the house etc.
Where a non-moulded plug is used it's fitted but for some reason it often has card fitted to the front of the plug explaining how to re-wire it!
Plugs are still relatively easily available.. most supermarkets etc. will have them in stock. Although they're most definitely not as common place as they were even 10 years ago.
Rewirable schuko and BS546 (15amp and 5amp) are usually available in most hardware stores.
Strangely enough the Schuko plugs on sale here never seem to have the recepticle for the French earth pin which makes them really useless for fitting to appliences before going on vacation to France. They're are still conforming to a piece of Irish electrical safety legislation which refers directly to the DIN standard for CEE 7/4 "pure" Schuko rather than to CEE 7/7 (the version that bridges the French-German earthing incompatability)
C-H: For your website
You might add the British shaver/toothbrush plug to your list. It's not the same as "Europlug" although it looks extremely similar and is fitted to almost all shavers and electric toothbrushes sold in the UK and Ireland (and Hong Kong)
The pins are shorter and fatter and slightly closer together than Europlug.. I think it may be derived from the 2-pin 2amp version of BS546 and called BS4573.
They appear to be rated 2.5A max
It's impossible to insert one of these plugs into a normal European outlet.
They look VERY similar though!
[This message has been edited by djk (edited 05-11-2003).]