Are Smart Plugs a Fire Hazard? Four Safety Data Revealed

Smart plugs are a common method for creating a smart home.

A smart plug enables you to manage a lamp or other device via your smartphone or by speaking to your home assistant.

However, are smart plugs a fire risk?

Smart plugs are secure so long as they are used appropriately. There is little risk of a smart plug causing a fire provided you are cautious about where you attach your plug, do not use indoor plugs outdoors, choose a UL-certified smart plug, and ensure that your electrical outlets and appliances function properly.

This article explains how to use smart plugs safely and prevent electrical fires.

I will explain how these useful devices function and what you need to know to keep safe. Read on to find out more!

Are Smart Plugs Dangerous?

Smart plugs are no more harmful than any other outlet or appliance in your home because they are subject to the same safety requirements. Similar to a standard power strip or outlet extender, smart plugs are safe if used according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Smart plugs are quite straightforward; there is not much to them.

The device is plugged into an electrical socket, then a lamp or appliance is plugged into it.

Practically any outlet will function.

You can remotely control the smart plug via an app installed on a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet.

The Smart Plug establishes a WiFi connection with the mobile device.

The smart plug can be compared to the switch or button on an appliance, such as a coffee maker.

Instead of immediately turning the coffee machine on or off, the app instructs the smart plug to deliver electricity or not, similar to how a light switch controls a ceiling light.

Using the app, you can also plan when the gadget should turn on or off, making it a security feature for your house.

Instead of wondering whether or not you turned off the coffee maker, you can simply check your phone.

Smart plugs that are compatible with home assistant devices, such as the Amazon Echo Dot or Amazon Echo Show 8, can connect to them (both products available on Amazon.com).

These gadgets are voice-operated, therefore a mobile phone is not required to control the smart plug.

Smart plugs are utilized by home assistant devices such as Google Nest, Z-Wave, and Zigbee.

In spite of this, similar to a regular power strip, overloading a smart plug with too many gadgets can be hazardous.

Before inserting anything into your smart socket, check the manufacturer’s instructions and the maximum wattage allotment.

This is especially true for gadgets that generate heat, such as coffee makers and toasters.

It is recommended to only plug in one of these devices at a time, as they are most prone to overload and overheat.

4 Safety Considerations for Smart Plugs

Smart plugs make life easier by enabling remote control of electrical items, such as lighting and appliances.

Before using a Smart Plug, there are a few considerations to keep in mind.

1: Be cautious about where you connect it

The amp rating of the smart plug must be known to ensure that it is compatible with the home’s electrical system.

Using a smart plug with a different rating than the electrical system to which it is being attached could cause overheating and create a fire danger.

The majority of domestic electrical outlets in the United States are rated at 15 amps and 120 volts; smart plugs marketed in the United States should have the same rating.

Some domestic outlets are designed for 20 amps, but larger equipment, such as a stove or washing machine, require outlets with higher ratings.

If the gadget plugged in draws more power than the rating of the smart plug, it will not function properly and may cause a fire.

If you reside or travel in a foreign nation, determine whether the electrical rating is different.

Germany utilizes a standard voltage of 230 volts. A smart plug suitable with American voltage (120 volts) would not function in Germany.

In order to utilize a 120-volt smart plug in a country such as Germany, a safe voltage converter is required.

Similarly, you should not connect a gadget with a voltage higher than the smart plug.

For instance, an air conditioner’s high power consumption could lead the smart plug to melt or catch fire.

Be careful not to connect a device that requires a great deal of power.

You may also wish to avoid plugging in devices that generate a great deal of heat, such as a space heater.

According to the majority of manufacturer warnings, a space heater should only be plugged into a wall socket.

If a smart plug is used to control the heater, it should not be left unattended and scheduling should be avoided.

To be safe, you should be in the room when you turn on the heater to check that no combustible objects are nearby.

Surges of electricity are created by lightning, defective wiring, and power outages.

They call it a surge because the voltage entering the electrical system increases significantly and unexpectedly.

It might cause damage to your electrical devices and perhaps cause a fire.

A surge protector prevents these surges from causing damage to your smart plug and the gadgets it is connected to.

You can connect most Smart Plugs straight to a surge protector, such as the Amazon Basics Surge Protector (available on Amazon.com).

In addition to preventing harm, this tool can also offer power to six electronic devices.

Alternately, you may employ this Gosund Surge Protector (available on Amazon.com).

This item is compatible with both Amazon Alexa and Google Home. It features a 9-in-1 plug configuration that is suited for use in the bedroom and kitchen.

2: Do Not Use Indoor Plugs Outdoors

There are advantages to having an outside smart plug.

A smart plug might be useful for controlling the outdoor lighting on your patio, for instance.

You may even use one to regulate the timing of your Christmas lighting display.

If it uses power and is used outside, it may be a good idea to connect it to a smart plug.

Nevertheless, ensure the outdoor plug has an outdoor rating, such as the Minoston Outdoor Smart Plug (available on Amazon.com).

This smart outdoor outlet is compatible with both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. This allows you to operate your devices with voice commands.

Manufacturers create weatherproof outdoor plugs to shield the internal components from the elements.

They can withstand rain and hail without failing or becoming dangerous.

Please do not consider them waterproof; they should not be submerged in water.

A plug not designed for outside use may function for a time, but it will eventually break.

When you touch a compromised smart plug, it may spark, catch fire, or shock you.

Even protecting an outdoor-rated smart plug from the elements would be helpful.

Remove the device from direct sunlight; prolonged exposure to the sun can damage the plastic.

To safeguard the outlets, connect the plug to a wall or face it downward.

3: Use only outlets that are functioning properly.

In older homes, the wiring may have corroded or been improperly grounded.

Any home’s electrical outlets are susceptible to wear and tear.

If an outlet has burn marks, is melted, or the item is loosely plugged in, it may be hazardous.

Before using a damaged outlet, it must be repaired or replaced. Do not insert a smart plug into an outlet that is malfunctioning.

4: Use quality items with high safety ratings.

As with many other products, some companies produce smart plugs of inferior quality and offer them at a reduced price.

It is possible that these items do not fulfill the same safety standards as the name-brand alternatives.

Unless you are certain that the cheaper choice is of same quality, you should purchase the name-brand product instead.

Underwriters Laboratory is a multinational organization that independently evaluates the safety of products.

Companies are charged a fee to have their products evaluated and rated for safety.

Check for UL certification before purchasing a smart plug or any electrical gadget by seeking for the UL logo.

If it does not, you should consider not purchasing it.

Conclusion

Smart plugs are safe and facilitate our daily life. They provide an easy and convenient solution to automate your house.

They conserve energy by turning off devices when they are not in use.

While you are away, they can turn lights on and off to make your home safer.

There is no limit to the utility.

However, things might go awry if you are not vigilant.

Taking this comfort for granted may result in costly and dangerous repercussions.

But if you’re careful and don’t take risky shortcuts with your smart plugs, they’re as safe as any other home equipment.