The Shocking Truth About Your Electrical Wall Plate

When was the last time you looked at a wall plate or outlet in your home? Sure you plugged an appliance or your phone charger, but you probably took a cursory glace and went about your business.

Did you know that in the US, fires resulting from faulty wall plates and outlets cause roughly 2,590 home fires every year?  So why are they potentially dangerous?


Tiny cracks in a wall plate can attract dust, lint and hair, which act as the kindling when they accumulate behind the plate. This increases the possibility of a short circuit and the resulting fire can smolder and spread along your walls making it hard to extinguish.


When walls are painted, the wall plates and outlets are typically covered by masking tape to prevent paint getting on them. But sometimes they are not covered and painted over. This is dangerous because the paint can accumulate in the slots and the pins that go into the plate can come into direct contact with an electrical charge. Paint is not designed to withstand that amount of heat, and can cause a fire.

Charred outlets

If the outlet cover looks burned or brown it’s time to investigate. Check the wiring system for short circuits or other conditions that could cause overheating and, potentially, a fire. Shorts can occur even when a microscopic piece of hot wire hits any metal part of the outlet and transfers a current.

If a problem occurs immediately remove all the devices from the outlet and turn it off if there is a switch. Don’t use it until it has been looked at and or replaced by a professional electrician. If the wall feels warm, immediately call the fire department on 911.

If you are looking to sell you home in this seller’s market, you need a real estate professional that can get you the best possible price. We have a large inventory of prospective buyers both local and overseas. Contact us or call us on 604 695 1000 and let us get you the best price for your home.

Connect with an Advisor

Connect With Us


Sign in

Create Account

Reset Password

Send Email Confirmation

Save Search