The Outlet Challenge: A Social Media Trend with Damaging Effects
The latest social media challenge, which originated on TikTok, involves partially placing a cell phone charger into an electrical outlet and then dropping a penny between the prongs and the outlet. This causes the outlet to short out and spark. Massachusetts has recently had a few incidents of electrical and fire damage to schools from students attempting the viral challenge.
Hazards from the outlet challenge include:
- Injury - the short-circuiting of the outlet can cause anyone in proximity to suffer:
- burns on the face or body, possibly within the lungs
- eye damage from the bright arc flash
- shock or even electrocution
- a potential for clothing to catch fire
- Property Damage - property damage can include:
- damage within the electrical system itself
- fire, smoke, and water damage
- a fire could be burning within the wall, undetected for an extended period of time
The Town's Public Safety Officials urge parents to be aware of this, to be vigilant for signs of the challenge, and or signs of fire, and to discuss with their children the dangers of attempting this challenge.