Firefighters warn parents of viral ‘outlet challenge’

Lynette Adams
Created: January 23, 2020 06:40 AM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Fire officials are warning about a potentially dangerous viral video challenge circulating on social media.

The so-called "outlet challenge" is making the rounds on the video app "TikTok."


Firefighters in Massachusetts posted a video of a recent incident at a high school in Plymouth, hoping people will see the potentially dangerous results. 

The challenge involves teens partially inserting the plug part of a cell phone charger into an outlet and then slide a penny down the wall onto the exposed prong.

It can create sparks, cause damage to the electrical system, or electrocution, and in some cases, even start a fire and cause injuries.

"The electricity propels the charges and the coin, it's molten metal at this point, outward, it could easily get you in the face, get you in the eye, could cause your clothing to catch fire," Plymouth Fire Chief Ed Bradley said.

He said two students got caught recently doing the challenge at a Massachusetts school, damaging this outlet and starting a fire.

"Social media elevates it, they see it online, they see someone do it, they start laughing, they run away, and no one gets hurt," Bradley said. "They assume the same will happen when they try it, so they think it’s funny to do it in a classroom."

Firefighters are encouraging parents to talk with their children about the dangers of this prank. 

Bradley also said kids caught doing it at school could face criminal charges.

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