burned electrical outlet

Mom Warns Others About The Link Between A ‘Fishy Smell’ And Melting Electrical Outlets

When one smells fish inside their home, it’s usually a sure sign of what’s on the menu for dinner. However, if there was no intention to cook fish, having that particular smell in our home is not the most pleasant. One mother grew concerned over the fishy smell in her little boy’s room. After searching high and low in his room, she discovered the source of the stench. It turns out that your electrical outlets give off a certain odor when they are melting on the inside.

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A mother's son's room smelled like fish thanks to melting electrical outlets.
Image credit: Facebook / Katie Rose Dugger

Damaged electrical outlets smell like fish

When a fishy smell has taken over your home, the last thing people think of is calling their electrician. One mother, Katie Rose, first noticed several weeks ago that her son’s room smelt particularly nasty. The fishy odor was pungent, and something needed to be done. When her son went to school, she ransacked the room. Searching high and low for the source of the smell, she found no rotten food, nor any dead animals. Not even a deep clean relieved the smell, so Katie took to the internet.

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Check your plugs and electrical outlets regularly.
Image credit: Facebook / Katie Rose Dugger

After a bit of google surfing, she discovered the reason for the fishy smell. After she went to investigate things herself, she found the source of the stench was coming from his electrical outlet. Somewhere along the line, the electrical outlet overheated, and the wires were melting. She quickly called the electrician, who found a faulty wire that was loose.

Katie decided the share this knowledge with her followers on Facebook. She included pictures of the melting plugs for good measure. “I am so glad I caught it before a fire started,” she concluded her post. “If you smell eggs it can be from a gas leak. If you smell fish it could be electrical. I did not know this.”

Read: ‘My 6-Year-Old Son Drowned in Our Pool. Here’s What I Wish I had Known to Keep Him Safe’

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Electrical safety

For many people, the smell of rotten eggs is a warning sign of a gas leak. It usually requires quick action, as there are some serious life-threatening repercussions to breathing in gas. However, a fishy smell in your home is not as common, unless you truly love a seafood diet. What should one do when they smell fish, and realize their electrical outlets are bust?

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Who you gonna call?

The first thing anyone should do is call their electrician. That fish smell is a sign that the plastic inside the outlet is melting from the heat. The plastic used inside the outlets is an electrical component called Bakelite. If the outlet continues the meltdown, it might cause an electrical fire. Simon Williams from Phillip Services Ltd in Swansea said, “It could cause an electrical fire long-term,” says Simon. “Obviously it’s a nuisance if your socket stopped working – but that’s not the end of the world, that could be repaired. But if parts of your home burned down, then it’s a different story.”

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Prevention is better than a cure

If you want to prevent this from happening altogether, you might want to practice some prevention strategies. Firstly, make sure that you do not pile too many appliances on one electrical outlet. Overloading it is a sure way to melt the wires. Secondly, make sure you routinely check your outlets and all the plugs that you insert in them. Thirdly, removing the plug gently can help prevent any damages that put the outlet at risk of overheating. Lastly, if your house has not had any work in a while, it is likely that the electrical outlets are outdated. Make sure you replace the old ones with newer ones.

Keep Reading: Fire Safety Tips for Preventing House Fires, from the Laundry Room to the Kitchen

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Sources

  1. Mom Warns Others About The Link Between A ‘Fishy Smell’ And Melting Electrical Outlets.” Making Home. Lauren Kochanowski. July 17, 2019
  2. 5 electrical outlet safety tips every homeowner should know.Fmins. Frankenmuth Insurance. November 24, 2020.
  3. What to do if you notice fishy smell in your home – as it could be electrical fault.Daily Record. Reem Ahmed & Lucy Farrel. May 4, 2022.
Jade Small
Freelance Writer
Jade is a freelance writer and content creator from South Africa with over 7 years experience writing and creating. She's also a proud single mom to a super 13 year old boy.
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