In the age of social media, it would seem we just can’t get away from kids doing ridiculous things for the sake of sharing it with the internet (Thank you, Tide Pods Challenge).
The newest craze taking the popular video platform TikTok by storm this week is the so-called ‘outlet challenge,’ which involves a phone charger, a penny and you guessed it, an outlet.
Buckle in folks, this one is a doozy.
The challenge has kids partially inserting the plug of a phone charger into an outlet, then sliding a penny down between the outlet and the charger prongs, which in turn causes sparks, electrical system damage, and in some cases, fire.
It has firefighters across the country on their toes, concerned of the unforeseeable damage that can come from just one little spark.
The Holden Fire Department of Holden, Massachusetts took to Facebook last week with an important advisory for parents.
“These videos are a concern and similar to past viral videos that encourage unsafe behavior,” the post read. “We are alerting parents to this challenge, and advise them to not only look for signs of fire play like scorched outlets, but to have conversations about fire and electrical safety with tweens and teenagers.”
Along with a photo of a torched electrical socket, the Holden Fire Department included a list of electrical fire safety tips that would do us all a little good to refresh ourselves on.
– Insert plugs fully into sockets
– If you have young children, install tamper-resistant electrical outlets
– Replace wall outlets if plugs do not fit tightly, or show signs of damage.
– Do not overload outlets
– Never force a three-pronged plug into a two slot outlet.
“In addition to electrical fire safety, the department would like to remind parents and children to discuss the dangers of certain online ‘challenges’ and recognizing the dangerous activity on the internet,” a department spokesperson added.
Parents, stay vigilant. Keep yourself informed and educate your children on the dangers of social media and these ridiculous challenges.