How to Cover Electrical Outlets

New parents should always childproof their home by covering electrical outlets when they are not in use.

Plastic Plugs

Outlet covers can offer a temporary or permanent solution.Outlet covers can offer a temporary or permanent solution.
You may also wish to cover unused electrical outlets for aesthetic reasons. There are a couple of different methods for covering outlets. The best method to use depends on whether you want a temporary or a permanent solution. Plastic plugs are cheap and simple to use, while solid outlet cover plates are more attractive. Some plates even have sliding or hinged covers that allow you to access the outlet when needed.

Step 1

Insert plastic safety plugs in all electrical outlets that a child can access.

Step 2

Remove the plugs when the outlet is in use. Place the plugs out of children's reach.

Step 3

Replace the plugs when the outlet is not in use. The plugs block access to holes in the outlet that could cause electrocution.

Outlet Cover Plates

Step 1

Shut off the power to the outlet you wish to cover at the fuse box. Never work on a live electrical outlet.

Step 2

Unscrew the screw or screws holding the existing cover plate in place. This is usually either one screw in the center of the plate or two screws at the top and bottom. Remove the cover plate.

Step 3

Place the replacement plate over the receptacle so the screw hole or holes line up. Screw the retaining screw or screws into place until they are hand tight. Don't over-tighten, or you may crack the plate.

Things You Will Need

  • Plastic outlet plugs
  • Screwdriver
  • Outlet cover plates

About the Author

Based in central Missouri, Rachel Steffan has been writing since 2005. She has contributed to several online publications, specializing in sustainable agriculture, food, health and nutrition. Steffan holds a Bachelor of Science in agriculture from Truman State University.