January 23, 2020 – According to local news reports, high school students in Massachusetts have been imitating a dangerous viral video circulating on the social media app TikTok. Along with Massachusetts fire officials who have issued fire alerts about the dangers of this activity, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is urging the public not to participate in this challenge.
“Electricity is ubiquitous in our lives, so much so that we often take for granted its power and potential for danger,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of Outreach and Advocacy for NFPA. “This video challenge reinforces that electricity can inflict serious harm if used improperly.”
Called the #outletchallenge, the video shows how to partially insert the plug of a cellphone charger into an outlet and slide a penny down the wall onto the exposed prongs. The results include sparks and damage to the electrical system, and in some cases, fires, injuries, and even electrocution.
“Our hope is to communicate the true dangers of this activity so that we can prevent anyone else from being harmed by it,” said Carli.