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I can smell burning in the house but can't locate source...

(32 Posts)
SeattleGraceMercyDeath Mon 21-Jul-14 00:14:08

What should I do? One area particularly strong smelling, no obvious signs of fire or burning and the smoke alarms haven't gone off. Panicking a bit.

Check fuse box

craftysewer Mon 21-Jul-14 00:16:09

What area? Could it be a hidden plug?

Fanjango Mon 21-Jul-14 00:16:45

Do you have a trip switch? If it's electrical that should trip if you have one. Failing that it's sniff all around where its strongest and stay up for a bit. Is the house a semi or terrace? Smell from next door?
Hope all is okay

If it's coming from there you'll need to call uk power networks, they'll send someone out within 24 hours.

lettertoherms Mon 21-Jul-14 00:20:33

If you can't find it, do call the fire department. A false alarm is always better than missing something. Better safe than sorry.

When this happened to me I opened the dishwasher and found a wooden spoon that had fallen onto the motor being charred during the drying cycle!

WellThatsLife Mon 21-Jul-14 00:20:52

My dm and I had this one evening in the sitting room, couldn't locate the source. My stepfather noticed next morning that one of the spotlights in kitchen under the sitting wasn't working, when he went to change the bulb the wood behind the light was blackened, it must have over heated and shorted before the wood actually caught fire, we were very lucky!

SeattleGraceMercyDeath Mon 21-Jul-14 00:24:10

Fuse box seems ok, smell not strong there, no blackening around plugs, smell is strongest half way up the stairs, thought it was the landing light but have unscrewed it and smell not strong inside lampshade (thought it might have been burning dust blush I don't want to ring 999 but is there a non emergency fire number like 101?

SeattleGraceMercyDeath Mon 21-Jul-14 00:24:54

House is a semi but smell nearest non attached side.

SeattleGraceMercyDeath Mon 21-Jul-14 00:25:31

The shower fuse has tripped several times recently and now doesn't work.

Fanjango Mon 21-Jul-14 00:25:59

Are you in a detached house? Have you poked head out door or window to ensure it's not coming from outside.

Fanjango Mon 21-Jul-14 00:27:11

Is shower near area of the smell? It could be buried wiring. If so you need to phone fire brigade.

storytopper Mon 21-Jul-14 00:30:02

We have sometimes noticed a burning smell in our living room - quite scary. Turned out to be one of our lamps -an uplighter. I think there was dust on the element that was heating up.

SeattleGraceMercyDeath Mon 21-Jul-14 00:30:59

Shower in vicinity. About 2 metres away as the crow flies. Smell not outside.

LocalEditorNottingham Mon 21-Jul-14 00:31:59

Has anyone been eating rice cakes? They smell like fire.

BlackeyedSusan Mon 21-Jul-14 00:32:04

shower wires need to be the thicker sort unless you have a very basic shower. (we only have a basic lower power shower as the wires are not the right sort for a proper power-shower)

wires can overheat and melt

loose wires into a connection a can overheat. (our meter did that)

feel the treads of the stairs, are any of them warm? we have wires runningup under the stairs between the treads and plaster boards underneath.

Selks Mon 21-Jul-14 00:32:39

To be honest I would be tempted to switch the electric off at the fuse box tonight then get an electrician out tomorrow, they will be able to locate any shorted or dangerous wiring,
However if burning smell persists tonight, call fire brigade. Maybe there is a local number for your nearest fire station that you could ring for advice!

ShergarAndSpies Mon 21-Jul-14 00:34:16

If you google non emergency fire brigade number UK you'll find that most areas have a website which gives you the non-emergency number.

I don't know if these would be 24hr though.

SilenceMeansTrouble Mon 21-Jul-14 00:38:05

Does it smell slightly like burnt fish? I was told if you get a hint of burnt fish smell from electrics you should get an electrician out immediately.

Zucker Mon 21-Jul-14 00:38:31

Have a sniff of all the light sockets, anywhere with a bulb in really. Sometimes they give off an odd smell like that.

SeattleGraceMercyDeath Mon 21-Jul-14 00:41:42

I've rang the fire brigade, feel like a fraud ringing 999 but they've sent someone immediately and said we did the right thing.

Downamongtherednecks Mon 21-Jul-14 00:43:35

We had this. It turned out to be dust burning in the boiler. Firemen came round with thermal imaging and checked all the walls in case there was something burning behind the walls.

Haggisfish Mon 21-Jul-14 00:46:22

Let us know the outcome op!

Selks Mon 21-Jul-14 00:50:30

Oh good for you OP. Let us know the outcome.

MrsWinnibago Mon 21-Jul-14 00:52:09

Good work OP...that's what they're there for.

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