Electric outlets are essential for homes as they facilitate power supply to several home appliances.
From indoor lighting, powering refrigerators, air conditioners, and even cooking to lighting security lights and doorbells, power outlets are important for the smooth operation of a home.
They, in some way, make a home complete.
So, Is It Safe To Use An Outlet Without A Cover?
It is quite safe for adults and older children to use an outlet without a cover. However, if you have small curious babies in the home, it is essential to ensure you cover all the outlets, whether in use or not. The basic thumb rule is; to keep your outlets covered, especially when not in use.
Investing in outlet covers is equivalent to investing in your home safety. Correct installation and usage of this small but important equipment will also help enhance safety. You will get more insights on the meaning, benefits, do’s and don’ts, and the types of power outlet cover you can buy when the need arises.
What Are Outlet Covers?
An outlet cover has a wall plate for attachment and a cover cap.
Some cover caps are simply plugged into the outlet, while others need special tools for installation.
Regardless of the design of a cover plate, they all serve the same purpose. They help prevent water, dust, and other particles from entering the outlet.
By covering outlets, the covers reduce the risk of electric accidents in a home.
If left open, children can plug in metallic items like knives, spoons, or nails and get electrocuted.
They can also pull out plugged-in devices like iron boxes, phone chargers, or heaters.
What if you leave a water heater on, then come back to take your hot water just to get the heater unplugged, and the water poured all over the place.
That is life-threatening!
All these risks can be cabbed by installing outlet covers.
The covers make it hard for children to insert, plug in or plug out anything in the socket. Therefore the safety of your children from electric shocks is assured.
Remember, you have to cover both the indoor and outdoor outlets and cover them correctly.
The Three Benefits Of Receptacle Outlet Wall Plates
There are several reasons that can make you invest in outlet covers, and some are listed below.
Outlet covers are childproofing as they prevent your small curious babies from playing with power.
While the child is playing, they can be tempted to play with electric cords plugged into an outlet or insert items inside it.
The chances of your child getting electrocuted can be very high if the outlets are not covered.
Children cannot handle most outlet covers, thus ensuring child safety against electrocution.
2. Reduced Fire Hazards
There are usually cases of house fires reported yearly, and the most common source is usually an outlet that was tampered with.
When you have installed outlet covers, you limit the chances of having anyone play around the power outlets and consequently reduce the chances of fire outbreaks.
3. Prevents Water From Entering The Outlet
If water enters the outlet, the outcome can be so devastating.
Outlet covers help prevent water from getting inside the outlet ports, especially outdoor outlets.
Three Receptacle Cover Shopping Factors
Before you purchase an outlet cover, consider the following basic factors.
1. Ease Of Installation
Some outlet covers can be simply plugged into the outlet, while some require tools to attach the cover to an outlet.
Check the type of tools needed during installation and determine how to find them.
Also, check the installation process to determine if you need to install them on your own or will need assistance from a technician.
2. Pack Size
Outlet covers are not designed to fit all outlets.
However, the most simple outlet covers can fit in most outlets, but the box outlet covers and the sliding outlet covers are not one size fits all.
You must be correct with the size of cover that can fit on your outlet.
You obviously do not want to distract your color scheme and interior design by buying a cover with bad color.
This should not worry you much because most outlet covers come in white.
White can easily blend in with any color theme.
However, if you want any other color to match your house, you can select among the different colored outlet covers available.
Do’s And Don’ts Of Power Outlets
Practicing electrical outlet safety in your home will help keep you, your pets, and your children from the possibility of electrocution.
It also keeps your property safe from electrical accidents that can cause adverse damages and huge losses.
Consider the following do’s and don’ts when handling electrical outlets.
- Use safety covers on outlets when in and not in use, especially if you have pets and small babies.
- Do not leave electronic equipment plugged in an outlet when not in use or when not nearby to attend to them.
- Use extension cords temporarily and unplug the cords when not in use.
- Avoid using more than one extension cord at the same time.
- Cover all outdoor outlets even if they are rarely used
- Replace outlet covers whenever the existing ones get damaged
- Do not leave outlets without covers. Open outlets are at high risk of causing a fire when they get in contact with open conductors, they also get dusty easily, and the dust can hinder the functionality of the outlets.
- Do not use electric appliances near water.
- Do not rewire outlets on your own unless you are a qualified electrician.
The Three Types Of Outlet Covers
There are three main outlet covers that you can choose to buy.
1. Plug Outlet Covers
They are the easiest to install because you only need to plug the cover into the outlet.
The plug covers are hard to pull out but easy to insert inside the outlet.
2. Sliding Outlet Covers
These covers completely replace the old outlet plate and may require some installation procedures.
Whenever you want to use the outlet, you simply slide the cover to the side, and when you are done using it, the cover will automatically slide back to cover the outlet.
3. Box Outlet Cover
They are the best covers because they hide the entire electrical outlet and the plugged-in cords from a baby.
However, they require special installation tools and should also be installed by a qualified electrician.
Safely handling electric outlets can contribute to the general safety of the home by reducing or preventing the risk of your household getting electrocuted.
Outlet covers can help you block any contaminants from getting to the outlet and damaging it.
It also protects your pets and children from inserting dangerous items in the outlet or unplugging the devices you had plugged in.
Be sure to buy the right outlet cover for all power outlets in your home and handle them carefully.