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IN short, if you have something to hang that's over 5 lbs, it's best to secure your hanger to a stud, or something. Otherwise, as you say, you're taking a chance that the picture will fall off the wall. I don't know how you can find a stud because I believe a traditional stud finder won't work. Stop by a picture store, pick out a picture you like (that's heavy) and ask how you'll secure it to a wall w/plaster. THEN, after they tell you how, tell them you're 'afraid' to buy right now and leave (BUT you'll have your answer.)
My best to ya and hope this helps.
Jay J -Moderator
PS: IF they say you need to find a stud, ask them how to do that ...