How to make a socket wall safe

Written by elizabeth chaplin
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How to make a socket wall safe
Keep wall sockets safe with cover plates. (Light Switch and Outlet image by Towards Ithaca from

Every home has a number of electrical appliances that range from toasters to lamps to computers. If these appliances and the wall sockets they are connected to are not properly cared for, they become fire hazards. According to the U.S. Fire Administration at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, residential appliance fires cause more than £130 million in property damage, 525 injuries and 25 deaths per year. Also, damaged wall sockets pose an electrical shock danger, especially to small children and pets. Prevent fires and electrocution by keeping wall sockets safe.

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Things you need

  • Outlet plates
  • Outlet covers

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  1. 1

    Make sure outlet plates over wall sockets are secured tightly in place and do not wiggle. Sockets without outlet plates are a serious electrical shock risk.

  2. 2

    Apply tamper-resistant outlet covers to sockets that are not in use. These small, plastic covers insert into the outlet holes and keep children from sticking their fingers or metal objects into the socket.

  3. 3

    Do not try to force a three-prong cord into a two-prong outlet.

  4. 4

    Check the electrical wiring regularly. Outlets that do not work or light switches that are warm to the touch are signs of a problem. These issues should be addressed by an electrician.

  5. 5

    Avoid overloading wall sockets with extension cords. Have an electrician install more outlets or circuits so that you don't need extension cords.

  6. 6

    Look for discolouration on wall sockets. A tear-shaped darkening around the outlet and plates is an indication of heat build-up that can cause a fire.

Tips and warnings

  • Never apply outlet covers with the electricity on. Make sure the electricity is turned off before working on outlets.

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