Burning Smell

House Smells Like Burning Plastic

What An Electrical Fire Smells Like

Many things can cause a burning smell inside your home, but using extreme caution no matter what is always the best route. Burning smells, particularly the smell of burning plastic or burning near your electrical outlets, could indicate serious electrical problems. If you smell burning or notice sparking or charring near your outlets, contact the fire department. 

Reasons for Burning Smells Near Outlets

A variety of electrical problems can cause burning smells, including:

  • Wires are exposed
  • The wiring was not installed properly
  • The electrical wiring has been damaged
  • Your circuits are overloading
  • A foreign object is stuck in your electrical box

Steps You Can Take

To mitigate further damage, you may be able to detect which outlet the burning smell is coming from and turn off its electrical supply from your breaker box. Because the cause of the burning smell could be exposed wire, avoid touching the outlet or trying to fiddle with the wires on your own and risk electrical shock.

Other Signs of Electrical Problems

Other warning signs often accompany a burning smell, such as:

  • Outlets shock to the touch
  • You notice a discoloration around the outlets, such as brown, black, or yellow
  • You hear a humming or buzzing noise

If you notice any burning smells, especially if they are happening concurrently with one of the other electrical problems we just mentioned, you should contact an electrician immediately to evaluate the situation. A licensed electrician will be able to detect the root of the burning smell and know how to safely navigate a solution, which, depending on the issue, could involve rewiring, wire repair, or installation of a new electrical component.

Reach out to John K. McCraw Electrical for more information on burning smells or to request a service!

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