How to Cover an Outlet Safely and Efficiently

How to Cover an Outlet?

To cover an outlet, the first step is to ensure your safety and that of those living in your home, particularly pets and young children.

Electrical outlets can be both an eyesore and a hazard, so it’s crucial to take the necessary measures to hide and safeguard them.

By covering the outlets, you can achieve a seamless and decorative style while preventing potential injuries and the risk of electrocution.

Safety-proofing outlets is an essential step in creating a safe environment, whether you choose to hide them behind furniture, use outlet covers, or employ alternative methods.

Key Points:

  • Ensure safety for yourself, pets, and young children when covering an outlet.
  • Outlets can be both unsightly and dangerous, so it’s important to hide and protect them.
  • Covering outlets allows for a seamless and decorative style while preventing injuries and electrocution.
  • Safety-proofing outlets is crucial for creating a safe environment.
  • You can hide outlets behind furniture, use outlet covers, or try alternative methods.
  • Taking necessary measures to cover outlets is a vital step.

Did You Know?

1. In the United States, the standard voltage for electrical outlets is 120 volts, while most other countries use 220-240 volts. This difference in voltage affects the design and wiring of outlets across the world.

2. Did you know that the first electrical outlet cover was invented in 1903 by Virginia O’Hanlon, who was inspired by the danger of exposed outlets? Her invention aimed to make outlets safer and prevent accidental electrical shocks.

3. GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlets, commonly found in bathrooms, kitchens, and outdoor areas, are designed to quickly detect any imbalances in the electrical current, shutting off the power in case of a ground fault. These outlets have been required by the National Electrical Code since 1971.

4. The outlet covers typically seen in older homes with rounded shapes are known as “toggle switch plate covers.” They were designed to accommodate the toggle-style light switches that were popular in the early 20th century. Nowadays, these covers are often replaced with more modern designs.

5. In recent years, there has been a rise in decorative outlet covers, allowing homeowners to add personal style to their electrical outlets. These covers come in various designs, from classic patterns to unique shapes or even customized options, serving as both a practical and aesthetic element in interior design.


Electrical outlets play a crucial role in our daily lives, providing power for our electronic devices and appliances. However, their appearance can sometimes detract from the aesthetics of our homes. Fortunately, there are several solutions available to cover and hide these outlets while complementing the overall decor of your living space.

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One effective option is using outlet covers. These covers come in various styles, including ones that mimic furniture or wall art. By selecting a cover that matches your interior design, you can seamlessly disguise the outlet and ensure it blends with the surrounding decor.

Another approach is strategically placing furniture or decor pieces in front of the outlets. For instance, a decorative plant or a bookshelf can be positioned to block the view of the outlet, effectively concealing it from sight. This method not only hides the outlet but also enhances the room’s visual appeal.


In addition to being an eyesore, uncovered electrical outlets pose a significant hazard in homes. Exposed outlets can be tempting targets for infants, curious toddlers, or mischievous pets. To ensure the safety of your loved ones and pets, it is crucial to take necessary precautions and properly cover these electrical hazards.

One of the simplest and most effective ways to cover outlets is by using outlet covers or plug inserts. These safety devices are designed to fit securely into the outlet, creating a barrier between the electrical contacts and any potential hazards. Outlet covers can be purchased in various designs, including ones that require a key or special tool to remove, providing an extra layer of protection.

Furthermore, it is important to remember that covering outlets alone may not entirely eliminate the risk of accidents. It is equally important to educate children about the dangers of electrical outlets and develop safe habits around them. Regularly inspecting and maintaining your electrical system can also minimize the risk of electrical hazards and ensure the overall safety of your home.

  • Use outlet covers or plug inserts
  • Look for designs that require a key or special tool to remove
  • Educate children about the dangers of electrical outlets
  • Develop safe habits around electrical outlets
  • Regularly inspect and maintain your electrical system

Homes With Pets

For homes with pets, electrical outlets can pose an additional challenge. Dogs and cats, especially when they are young or highly curious, may be drawn to chewing on the cords connected to electrical outlets. This behavior not only puts your pet at risk of electrocution or burns but may also cause damage to your electrical system.

To protect your pets and prevent any accidents, it is crucial to use outlet covers specifically designed for pet safety. These covers are typically made of chew-resistant materials and feature a secure fit to prevent pets from accessing the electrical contacts. Additionally, keeping cords neatly organized and out of reach can further minimize the risk of pets tampering with electrical outlets.

Homes With Young Children

In homes with young children, the risks associated with electrical outlets are significantly increased. Curiosity, combined with a lack of understanding of the potential dangers, can place children at a higher risk of electrical accidents. Therefore, it is crucial to take extra precautions to protect young children from these hazards.

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Using outlet covers or plug inserts that are childproof is an essential step in ensuring the safety of your children. These covers typically have built-in mechanisms that make it difficult for children to remove or tamper with them, providing a reliable barrier against electrical hazards. Additionally, outlet covers with sliding panels or ones that require simultaneous pressure on both prongs can provide an additional layer of protection.

Educating your children about the dangers of electrical outlets and setting clear boundaries around them is also important. Teaching them not to touch outlets and explaining in simple terms the potential consequences can help create awareness and minimize the risk of accidents.

  • Outlet covers or plug inserts that are childproof
  • Outlet covers with sliding panels or ones that require simultaneous pressure on both prongs
  • Educating children about the dangers of electrical outlets

Hiding Electrical Outlets

In certain situations, homeowners may choose to completely conceal their electrical outlets rather than simply covering them. This aesthetic decision can create a seamless look in the room and eliminate any distractions caused by visible outlets.

One approach to hiding electrical outlets is strategically placing furniture or decorative pieces to block them from view. This can involve positioning large furniture items like cabinets or sofas in front of outlets, effectively concealing them. Additionally, decorative wall hangings such as paintings or tapestries can serve the dual purpose of hiding outlets while enhancing the overall visual appeal of the room.

Another option is to install recessed outlets. These outlets are embedded into the wall, allowing them to blend seamlessly with the surrounding surfaces. While recessed outlets require professional installation, they offer a sleek and seamless appearance that can enhance the overall aesthetic of your home.

Seamless Decorative Style

When it comes to covering or hiding electrical outlets, it is crucial to select a method that aligns with your desired decorative style. The wide range of available outlet covers allows you to choose ones that match your existing decor. Whether you prefer a vintage-inspired look or more contemporary designs, there are options to suit every taste and style.

For a minimalist aesthetic, consider outlet covers that resemble wall plates or match the color of the wall. This creates a seamless and understated look that blends well with your interior. On the other hand, if you want to make a statement, there are outlet covers available in bold colors or patterns. These can add a touch of personality and visual interest to your space.

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In conclusion, covering and hiding electrical outlets not only eliminates eyesores but also ensures the safety of your home, particularly for households with young children or pets. By utilizing outlet covers, strategically placing furniture or decor, and choosing seamless and decorative options, you can achieve a harmonious and safe living environment that reflects your personal style.

  • Outlet covers come in a wide range of designs.
  • Matching outlet covers with your existing decor is important.
  • Outlet covers can provide a seamless and understated look.
  • Bold colored or patterned outlet covers can make a statement.
  • Hiding electrical outlets ensures the safety of your home.
  • Outlet covers help create a harmonious and safe living environment.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I use to cover an outlet?

One option to cover an outlet is to use paintable outlet wall plates. These wall plates can be made of metal or plastic and have a textured surface that allows them to be painted over with traditional wall paints, eliminating the need for primer. This offers a customizable solution that seamlessly blends the outlet with the surrounding wall.

Another alternative is to replace traditional outlets with pop-out outlets. These modern outlet designs are specifically designed to conceal traditional outlets when not in use. They can be pushed back into the wall, creating a flush and discreet look. This provides a sleek and minimalist solution for covering outlets while maintaining functionality.

Can you put a cover over an outlet?

Yes, wall plates can be used to cover outlets. They are designed to provide a clean, finished look to electrical outlets while also ensuring the safety of occupants by concealing wires. Wall plates come in various styles and materials, allowing homeowners to choose options that blend seamlessly with the room’s decor. By covering outlets with these plates, both functionality and aesthetics are enhanced, providing a neat and organized appearance to the interior design.

Should you cover an outlet?

It is highly recommended to cover outdoor outlets with a “weatherproof while-in-use” cover to ensure their safety and functionality. In addition, it is crucial to close off any unused outlets to prevent accidents or potential hazards. By doing so, you can mitigate the risks of electric shock, fire hazards, and the possibility of electrocution. Plugging your outdoor outlets into a GFCI further adds an extra layer of protection, ultimately enhancing the overall safety standards of your electrical system.

Is it safe to cover outlet with tape?

Answer: No, it is not safe to cover outlets with tape. While using electrical tape may reduce the risk of shock, it is not a sufficient replacement for properly retaining receptacle covers or turning off power.

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