What’s that smell?

            The next time you think you smell a dead mouse in the house but can’t find one, check your electrical outlets.

            Overheated, damaged or exposed wires literally can start to smoke and burn inside your wall. So can a dead mouse—or anything from loose insulation to debris of any kind—if it gets trapped in the box behind the outlet.

            The dead-animal smell—or a smell like burning rubber—is a warning sign, so don’t ignore it.

            Instead, inspect every outlet in the house until you locate the one that smells. Unplug everything from the outlet; the plug will probably be hot.

            Then, call a licensed electrician to diagnose the problem and repair the outlet.