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How Safe Are Smart Plugs?

When any new electrical device comes to market, safety questions are always on the public’s mind. Smart plugs and smart home devices are no exception, so we thought we’d go over some of the risks associated with these devices, and how at Wiser we’ve designed our smart plugs to protect your home and personal data.

How do Smart Plugs work?

A smart plug provides full control over electrical devices, from anywhere and at any time via a connected device like a smartphone or tablet. Smart plugs from Wiser can also integrate with Amazon Alexa or the Google Assistant to turn appliances on or off using voice commands. Away for the weekend? Set a schedule for a living room lamp from anywhere in the world to deter would-be burglars. There’s no separate app to control your smart plugs, simply use the same Wiser App as you use to control your smart heating.

The Risk – Are Smart Plugs a Fire Hazard?

It’s important not to overload electrical sockets and extension leads with smart plug devices, or to use smart plugs with high-power electrical devices (such as space heaters) that exceed the maximum wattage of the smart plug device, or electrical systems can become overloaded, which was sometimes the case when the earliest smart plugs were released to the market.

The Wiser Solution – A Secure Design With Constantly Improving Safety Measures

Smart plugs from Wiser are built to the highest modern safety standards and fit securely to any UK mains outlet. The firmware of our smart plugs will also be updated automatically from time to time, to ensure your devices continue to function safely and efficiently. To minimise the risk of fire when using smart plugs:

  • For your safety and that of others, always ensure the electrical devices you control with your smart plug never exceed our smart plugs’ maximum wattage of 3kW (13A max. current) which is clearly displayed in the instructions.
  • Never overload extension leads, always check the maximum wattage capacity of these devices too.
  • Ensure there is clearance between the smart plug unit and adjacent furniture and household objects.
  • Our smart plugs are for indoor use only.

When used correctly, smart plugs from Wiser can help you reduce the risk of fire in your home by allowing you to check and turn off any devices that pose a fire risk when switched on.

The Risk – Are Smart Plugs Vulnerable to Data Theft?

In this digital age and the rise of the smart home, data protection and cyber security are growing concerns for homeowners, and whether the use of smart devices poses a risk of data breaches or even infiltration by strangers to control devices remotely. Without strong coding practices put in place by smart device manufacturers, these are very real risks. Drayton takes these extremely seriously and we want to make clear Wiser’s ability to protect your smart home’s privacy.

The Wiser Solution – Online protocols and Wiser’s factory reset options

Wiser products such as our smart thermostat and smart plug range gather and store personal data to enable innovative features like IFTTT Integration and the Smart Modes. It is for this reason that data security is taken, as Drayton Wiser’s Engineering Director Jamie Bennett put it in a recent article, “incredibly seriously”.

All traffic between your Wiser devices and the cloud (where most of the data is stored) is encrypted to guarantee the highest level of security for homeowners. In addition, any data that’s stored on the Wiser App is protected by the sophisticated security mechanisms already a part of iOS and Android operating systems. Finally, we offer support such as a factory reset option to ensure data breaches are prevented if, for instance, you move home and leave your smart thermostats or smart plugs installed in your old property. This makes your Wiser account and your personal data unavailable to strangers.

For more information on the steps we take to keep your home and personal data secure, you can read Jamie Bennett’s article here. You can also check out our support page, or contact us if you have any queries about Wiser’s data security measures.