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TikTok’s viral ‘outlet challenge’ raises safety concerns

TikTok’s latest viral challenge hashtag outlet challenge is a potential fire hazard and is raising safety concerns from authorities in the US.

By: Trends Desk | New Delhi | Updated: January 25, 2020 1:57:05 pm
The viral challenge includes a phone charger, a power outlet on the wall and a penny. The participants are required to pass the penny on to the gap, to cause a spark.

The latest challenge to go viral on video-sharing app TikTok is the dangerous ‘outlet challenge’, which has prompted fire warnings all over the world, especially in the US. Social media users and authorities have expressed their disapproval at the challenge after several incidents raised concern.

With a phone charger, power outlet on the wall and a penny, participants of the challenge are required to partially plug the charger into the power outlet, leaving a small gap. They are then required to pass a penny down the gap to cause a spark which can leave the outlet damaged, destroy the electrical system or even cause a fire.

According to reports, firefighters and authorities have warned participants and social media users against the viral challenge due to its safety concerns.

The Holden Fire Department in Massachusetts Wednesday released a picture of a scorched power outlet on their Facebook page with the caption, “The Holden Fire Department would like to warn parents of a new viral teen video that may result in fire incidents and cause serious injury.”

Despite the warnings, youngsters on the video-sharing app continue to take up the challenge, leaving the popularity of it unabated. Take a look at one of the most-watched videos under the hashtag outlet challenge:

Peter J. Ostroskey, Massachusetts’ State Fire Marshal issued a circular to parents and educators regarding the safety concerns of the challenge. The Fire Marshall mentions two incidents of concern, one from Westford High School and another from a concerned mother, who sent the department a picture of a scorched outlet regarding the challenge. The letter urged parents and fire departments to have healthy conversations on fire safety.

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