Power sockets shouldn't have a noticeable smell of any kind. So if you're detecting a burning or smokey smell coming from your wall socket, then you likely have a significant problem on your hands. Here's what you should do if you detect this smell.
What It Likely Means
A burning smell from a power outlet often means that there's something that's gone wrong with the wiring. Usually, it's a short or exposed power line that may be causing surfaces in your wall to heat up and smoke. This is an extremely dangerous situation for you to be in. So follow the upcoming precautions precisely.
First things first: turn off the power to your home. Ideally, you want to temporarily shut off the power to the entire house, for safety's sake.
Once you're certain that the power is off, remove anything that's plugged into the outlet. This should temporarily stop the burning smell. However, it's unwise to turn the power back on to it regardless. If you know how, turn on the breakers for all the rooms in your house except the one with the damaged power outlet. If you don't know how or aren't sure, then keep the power off everywhere to be safe.
It's important to note here that an electrical outlet in a situation like this can absolutely start a fire. This is why it's so very important for you to shut off the power until the problem has been tackled.
Once your power is off, it's time to call an electrician. Faulty wiring is something that most homeowners aren't equipped to handle or even necessarily recognize what's wrong. So for everyone's safety, call a professional.
Your electrician will come out and inspect the outlet. There is a small chance that there could simply be something wrong with the outlet itself, which would be the easiest scenario to fix. However, your electrician will also perform a thorough inspection of the wiring to ensure that it's intact, safe, and functioning properly. If it isn't, replacing some of the wiring in your home may be necessary.
Power plugs rarely have this problem, but if you ever think that you detect the smell of smoke or burning in your home, you need to find the source and take precautions immediately. Don't risk the safety of your loved ones and your entire home. Contact an electrician and get the help that you need now.