3 Potential Hazards of Broken Wallplates
Wallplates are designed to do a specific job—cover the wires behind your switches and outlets while still making them easy to access when needed. These plates are in every room of your home, and when one cracks or breaks, they can be a bit of an eyesore. But more than that, they can also be a danger to your family and your home in general. How can a crack in a wallplate actually be dangerous? Keep reading to find out.
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Giving Kids Access to Wires
Parents know that electrical outlets can be a danger to their children. That’s why socket safety covers can be found in just about every American home with kids. Yet, many parents are unaware that a broken wallplate can present an even greater danger than an open socket. When a wallplate breaks to the point that the wires behind the switch or outlet are visible, curious kids can easily stick fingers and toys into that opening.
Touching the wrong part of a wire can give a child a dangerous and even deadly shock. The moment a crack appears in a wallplate, you should replace it so that it doesn’t get to the point that pieces are missing and wires are exposed—because even a single day of having those components open to curious little fingers can be hazardous.
Sharp Edges of Broken Plastic
While this might seem like a minor issue, you might think a little differently when you’ve cut yourself on a broken light switch cover or outlet plate. Even if a plate is simply cracked, it creates sharp edges that could cut you when simply trying to flip a switch or plug something in. If the plate is broken to the point that pieces are missing, you’ll have even sharper edges exposed, including metal components behind the wallplate. For a few bucks, you can avoid that irritating cut on your hand. And if you have children in your home, you can protect them from additional cuts and scrapes as well.
Corroding Wires and Fire Hazards
In addition to concealing the wires behind your switches and sockets, your wallplates also keep out moisture, dust, dirt, and other debris, which can damage the wires. If your wallplate is broken, these elements can work their way into your walls and cause the wires to corrode. This presents a serious fire hazard for your home. A single spark from a corroded wire can start a fire behind your walls, which can quickly spread and cause significant destruction.
If your wallplates are cracked, replace them immediately to avoid these hazards.