11 hacks to fix a Smoking Electrical Outlet Safely & Prevent it From Reoccurring

While electrical outlets are useful for having abundance of electricity for the house, these can also become a safety hazard sometimes. So if you notice fire or even smoke emitting from the electrical outlet of your house, you would have to quickly react in a smart manner to avoid any damage to avoid any accident from occurring in the first place. Here we have listed a few essential things to do when ever notice even a little fire or smoke occurring from an electrical outlet in your space.

Get family
Distance from
the hazard is the
safest option for
Go resolve the
hazard after everyone
is safe
Fire extinguisher
Don’t get
Turn off
circuit breaker
1st stop the electricity to that plug is receiving
Remove all
plugs that are
plugged into the
This removes any
equipment requiring electricity.
If you can safely remove the plugs while calling the police
that would be the best option.
Resolve the
emergency –

Call 911 if the circuit
is still smoking or on
Leave your house
to join your family outside.
Don’t wait for the fire
department to come
while you are inside the house.
Recover –
Hire an
Fix primary
This may require
work outside of your scope.
Be prepared for the unexpected.
Have electrician
search for other
problems that may occur-
that need to be resolved
Fix secondary
Goal: make your home
electrical wiring safe
for your
family. Now is not the
time to be cheap. I know,
I’ve been there.
Check for any dead outlets or bad circuit breakersYou may need to
to a larger breaker
if you only have

15 or 20 AMPs.
Consider 30 if your
electrical panel will support it and the electrician recommends it.
This suggestion was from an electrician.
check for plug debrisThis is often overlooked
Avoiding any Overloads

1. Getting your family to the outdoors quickly

The smallest of smoke emitting from the circuits or even a little flame can quickly convert to a large fire, thus the very first thing to do would be to carry your loved ones outside quickly. Such little flame can shelter a huge fire that happens behind scenes. Due to such hazard you have to ensure protection of your family members and pets.

Make sure that you’re quickly evacuating your children and pets outside at a safer distance away from the house. If you and your children are alone, you must take them to neighbors or move the vehicle away from fire while putting children inside (with windows at downside when the weather is hot). This ensures that they’re safe away from the fire while help is on its way.

2. Make use of Fire Extinguisher Instead of Using Water

If you’ve noticed any signs of fire in an electrical smoking outlet, then it would be best to remain calm while avoiding panicking. Now, if you’re thinking of taking care of fire yourself till the fire truck arrives, you might get tempted to use water for stopping flames, but the very first rule to follow for electric fire safety would be to avoid using water as dumping water on or simply near a source of electricity can lead to life threatening electrical shock while worsening the fire.

Instead it’s best to have a Class C fire extinguisher that efficiently puts out fires that form around circuit breakers, wiring outlets, and household appliances. Later on the best thing to follow would be to turn the power off at the side of electrical panel for prevention of fire from extending.

If you’re proceeding further with fire extinguisher for curbing the fire, then it would be essential to follow these simple five steps:

  • Firstly the pin must be pulled which is at the level top while you’re holding extinguisher in upright position.
  • Now aim the extinguisher’s nozzle directly at fire. Identify the origin point, if you’re able to do so.
  • The extinguisher level must be squeezed.
  • Now sweep and then cover the whole area with fire extinguishing substance. For this, you might need to move closer towards fire, but you would need to remain careful for the same. A good measure to follow would be to maintain some distance, and also these fire extinguishers are capable of maintaining longer trajectory.

3. Turn off circuit breaker

Now you simply have to simply search out for circuit breaker while turning off certain breaker from where you noticed the smoke getting emitted. If you wish to remain on safer side, then it’s best to turn the breakers off for all areas of your home.

With this measure, the electricity stops running through circuit and it becomes simple for emergency personal or you to only deal through fire.

4. Remove all plugs that are plugged in the outlet

If you’re able to conduct this step in a safe manner, you have to simply unplug all electrical appliances that are plugged within the outlets. When these remain plugged within the outlet at the time of smoke or fire, these have potential risk of heating and frying. These can also help in fueling fire when they remain left plugged inside. Only you can pull these when you remain dry and you do this without getting yourself burned.

5. Make sure to reach the help of electrician

If there is small amount of fire, make sure to reach an electrician for coming out and conduct an inspection of the whole outlet. Most likely they would change the particular smoking outlet along with the wires running through that outlet towards the circuit. In case the fire was there due to overloading of outlet, the electrician would also require another outlet for moving current outlets to various circuits so it doesn’t get overpowered again.

Also ask your electrician for any further inspection in areas such as walls for making sure that these aren’t hot. If you’ve got a basement, make sure to go down and check that the fire doesn’t get spread. If you’re encountering smoke upon opening the basement door, make sure to not remain any further. Make sure to close door while calling 911. If this would seem fine, it’s best to remain down while inspecting damage and making sure those flames don’t spread further.

6. Get the circuit outlet checked by your electrician for avoiding further fires

With a loose connection on one or two outlet box or junction wire box, you might cause short circuit. Short circuits occur when wire slips off terminal on electrical devices like outlets. When this touches any other wire a short circuit would ensure. Thus, it’s best to get all your electrical outlets as well as circuits properly checked by your electrician so that any defaults can immediately get fixed.

Electrical systems experience different fault types mainly defined as abnormal electricity flow. Ground faults are certain fault types where unintentional straying electrical current directly flows to earth. Electricians generally define ground fault as situations when hot wire comes in direct contact with grounding wire or grounded portion in the system. Like the electrical metal box. Thus, electricians consider grounding faults different compared to short circuits.

Electricians install quality circuit breakers for providing protection against grounding faults if electricity flow increases suddenly and through grounding wite system in circuits provide direct pathway back to ground must currently stray outside the established wiring circuit.

7. Check for any additional damage

After the threat gets resolved you can simply check your house walls while making sure that they didn’t turn hot. If you’re having a basement in the house, you have to be sure that the fire hasn’t spread in there. If you’re still encountering any smoke while opening the basement door, you need to stop going further. You must then close door and then call 911. If this seems fine, you can move down and then inspect damage while ensuring that the flames haven’t spread yet.

8. Reach out for any emergency help

If the walls around smoking outlet are still hot, and you’ve suspected that fire is quickly spreading through walls and around the attic, you must promptly call 911 and tell them about the whole situation while requesting fire department to be sent for your house.

9. Check for any dead outlets

Most house owners ignore dead outlets and cover it through furniture pieces, but non-working outlets signal loose or frayed wires inside the circuit and behind walls.

Three-pong testing device for outlets or a handheld tester for voltage are available in the local hardware store and these cost less than $20 and provide you with information for passing along to electrician when you’re calling one for replacing outlets.

Licensed electricians can quickly replace outlets without much hassle, so this job is worth doing. Dead outlets mean habitability and safety issues. Thus, it’s your responsibility to get this fixed as quickly as possible.

10. Have your electrician check for Plug Debris

The immediate cause of smoking outlet is short circuit generating heat. This would mean that something inside the outlet connects positive and negative socket parts. And as with any time electrical outlet produces smoke, this becomes a fire hazard.

So if the particular outlet has frequent use, or any old appliances that are plugged within it, debris through electrical plugs would get caught within outlets. Such debris would be scaled from corroded plugs, or it would be build-up of dirt or dust. In such cases, the debris gets cooked through electricity.

11. Avoiding any Overloads

Overloads happen mainly in two different ways, and this doesn’t happen only when you’ve got fault within electrical supply circuit breaker or the fuse. Normally, if a lot of appliances get plugged in electrical outlets, the current getting drawn through outlet would remain beyond design parameters of the outlet. The wiring essentially wouldn’t remain sufficient for containing electricity and begins smoldering.

You can have your electrician look for any other possible causes that involve sudden power surge through smoking outlet that remains in use. Other areas that can be checked are the fuse and circuit breaker.

Ensure safety first

In case you notice any smoking outlet or flames inside your house, you must attempting fixing it all by yourself. Make sure to get in touch with your local electrician quickly or maintain any team for addressing the issue. The electrician can easily address all causes and get it fixed at the earliest. With these steps you’ll be able to resolve any fire before it becomes more hazardous. The best thing would be to prevent it before occurring.

D. Hahn

DIY guru, dad, husband, blogger. When I'm not creating life hacks I'm teaching my kids how to fix stuff after their dad breaks it.

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