MARYLAND — The latest social media trend has alarmed fire officials in Maryland. State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci warns parents about a new viral teen video that could cause a fire and serious injuries. While authorities have received no reported incidents within Maryland thus far, the agency has been notified by authorities of two incidents in Massachusetts.
The “challenge” seen on the popular video app TikTok involves using the plug part of a phone charger, partially inserting it into the wall outlet, and then sliding a penny down the wall onto the exposed prongs. The result is sparks, electrical system damage and, in some cases, fire.
“We are alerting parents to this challenge and advise them to not only look for signs of fire play like scorched outlets but to have conversations about fire and electrical safety with tweens and teenagers,” Geraci said in a statement.
Captain Russell E. Davies Jr. with the Anne Arundel County Fire Department confirmed that his department has not responded to any such incidents. Brad Tanner, spokesperson for the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services, also told Patch that the department has not responded to any incidents either.
“We did, however, share this (information) via our social media outlets encouraging parents to talk with their children about the potential life safety and fire dangers of this challenge,” Tanner said.