Have you ever been plugging in an appliance and wondered why some have two prongs and some have three?
Well, there’s a good reason. You may have heard the third prong actually helps safety, but if this is so, why are toasters and similar appliances often without a ground prong, when low-voltage devices (like Apple laptop cords) often do have them?
IEC Protection Class I
Appliances with this symbol require a ground prong.
IEC Protection Class II
In Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Papua New Guinea, the flat pins in a V-shape plus the vertical pin represent Active (left pin), Neutral (right pin) and Earth (vertical pin).There are unearthed versions of the plug used with this outlet that have the two flat inverted V-aligned pins, without the Earthing pin. To sum it up, these plugs are only to be used for devices where other safety standards are in use (e.g. double insulation).
So if you buy a cheap cord or plug, make sure it has either three prongs or don’t buy it at all – it mightn’t be made to the same standards as those with three prongs.