CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The National Fire Protection Association is warning that TikTok’s #outletchallenge presents significant electrical hazards.
According to a news release sent to 22News, high school students in Massachusetts have been imitating a dangerous viral video circulating on the social media app TikTok.
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 into the exposed prongs. The results include sparks and damage to the electrical system. In some cases, fires, injuries, and even electrocution has occurred.
Westover Fire Department Fire Inspector Anthony Carfiro told 22News the challenge can have devastating consequences.
“They won’t even know it causes a fire, what will happen is, it’ll be an internal fire inside the wall and you won’t know that there is a fire inside the wall until it’s too late. It may take up to 20 minutes to an hour afterwards and it can spread inside the wall and you can have a major fire.”Fire Inspector Anthony Carfiro, Westover Fire Department
Carfiro said there’s also a risk for injury with the Outlet Challenge, as sparks can light your clothes on fire or get in your eyes.
The State Fire Marshal advises parents to keep an eye out for signs of fire play like scorched outlets and talk to their children about fire and electrical safety.
“Electricity is ubiquitous in our lives, so much so that we often take for granted its power and potential for danger. This video challenge reinforces that electricity can inflict serious harm if used improperly. Our hope is to communicate the true dangers of this activity so that we can prevent anyone else from being harmed by it.”Lorraine Carli, vice president of Outreach and Advocacy for NFPA
NFPA offers resources to help protect teens from trends that have primarily emerged on social media in recent years, helping them identify risky behaviors and make safer decisions. These resources can help anyone have an open dialogue with teenagers and discourage dangerous behavior.
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