Sometimes HomeFixated article inspiration comes from odd places. Take this article for example. Allow me to share some embarrassing details of my past and at the same time possibly contribute to construction, home-improvement and household safety at the same time. It all has to do with my formerly failed love life, screws, and electrical outlet covers. Just to set your mind at ease, the love life was not directly related to the outlet covers. And, in a rare moment of civility on HomeFixated, I’ll leave the screwing related jokes to you (just this time).
So, you ask, where in the world am I going with this? Stay with me. Back many, many years ago, a friend of mine introduced me to a flight attendant friend of his. She was cute, I was single, she was single. The ingredients all sound perfect right? Turns out things never went anywhere after our first kiss. Two things could have been to blame: me or her very devout Christianity. Since it couldn’t have possibly been me (I’m pretty sure I’m an awesome kisser), I’ll happily chalk this up to Jesus-related intimacy issues. Phew, ego-crisis averted!
If you were wondering how this relates to screws and outlet covers, don’t worry, I’m getting there. You see, I’m still very good friends with my would-be matchmaker buddy. And he is still facebook friends with the flight attendant (although for all I know she’s a banker now). My friend sends me a note a few weeks back saying, “Dude! You remember the flight attendant so-and-so from way back? Well, she just posted this funny baby-proofing rant on Facebook.” And, here it is in all its plagiarized glory:
“OBSERVATION WHILE BABY PROOFING: It seems odd and potentially fatal that ALL the screws holding the face plates to the outlets have a groove for a flat head screwdriver. (go look) It occurred to me each time the screwdriver slipped out of the groove that it had a very good chance at sliding ever so easily INTO the outlet! I couldn’t help but think perhaps a philips head screw would have been a better option!” Since I’m about 99.9% sure she wouldn’t want me crediting her by name in the context of the story, I’ll leave her name out to protect the really innocent.
The rant got me thinking. . . . could this anti-kissing flight attendant (and apparently now a mom) be onto something? She had the good sense to avoid my advances, so she apparently has some solid judgment. I have to agree, other than aesthetics, why in the world do outlet covers use flat head screws right next to what is essentially a perfect little funnel to guide said screw driver into an electrified outlet? Are outlet cover manufacturers trying to cut down on over-population? Is this some sort of cruel darwinian experiment? Is there some magical reason outlet covers have to have slotted screws? (If so, please enlighten us.)
I can hear the ultra-cautious electrical safety homefixaters already, “But, if you’re working on your outlet, you should always have the power off.” Uh huh. Technically, totally a valid point. For those that wisely choose safety over danger, I highly recommend using a good Fluke Voltage Tester to verify power is off to the outlet you’re working on. The reality is that most people probably don’t switch off the power just to swap out an outlet cover though. Anyone out there looking to start a consumer lobby to advocate for phillips head screws on outlet covers? Consider this embarrassing and personally revealing story my donation to the cause!