Have you ever wondered what goes into a heating or air conditioning system for a large office building or another large building like a mall or a school? My name is Evelyn, and I am an HVAC architect. I design heating and air conditioning systems for large, corporate buildings. Making sure that a large building with many rooms or offices is efficiently heated and cooled is a very large job and is much more complicated than simply heating or cooling a home. This blog will educate the reader on how heating and cooling jobs this large are designed and completed.
If you have broken or non-existent faceplates on your outlets or light switches, you are not alone. It is quite common to accidentally break the plates, especially when the plates are very old. However, you should not leave these areas open and exposed to the room. Instead, you should get them covered and replaced sooner rather than later. It is a simple enough electrical repair that you can do on your own, and here are three reasons why you should put this at the top of your "honey-do" list.
It Is a Hazard for Small Children and Babies
The last thing you want is for a small child or infant to visit your home and become electrocuted because he/she reached into the open outlet recess and tried to grab the outlet or switch module. If you have small children or infants in your home now, this is all the more reason to complete this repair right away. A child's natural curiosity will lead him/her right towards these outlets, and this should be part of your "baby-proofing" routine both before and after you have a baby. It is understandable, however, if you have forgotten about the broken outlet behind the couch, but you should still do the job when you remember it.
Doorways for Rodents
You might be surprised to learn how mice can maneuver through your walls. You may be even more surprised to learn that they have collapsible skeletons, which allow them to squeeze through the tiniest of spaces, including that space between the electrical switch or outlet module that currently has a very open space to the inside of your home. Without their faceplates, your outlets and switches can become doorways into your home for mice and other small rodents, not to mention insect pests like roaches, all of which are typically unfazed by the electrical wiring in the wall. Worst of all, if there are some bare but live wires behind any of these modules, a rodent or bug pest could be zapped and start an electrical fire. Discourage these situations by replacing the missing faceplates on your outlets and switches.
Exposed/Live Wires Tripped and Traveling
Since you do not know what is exposed behind the switch and outlet modules unless you remove them from the wall, you would have no way of knowing what wires are exposed and live. These wires could be tripped with the smallest amount of moisture, sparking and starting a fire. If a glass of liquid is chucked at a wall where these open, faceplate-less outlets or switches are, the liquid could cause the electricity to jump and travel where the liquid is flowing. There are all kinds of weird possibilities and scenarios, which is why you have faceplates for outlets and switches in the first place. If you are not comfortable with going near outlets and wires with a screwdriver, you can always call in an electrical contractor/electrician.