Social media and outrageous challenges are no stranger to each other. The latest viral challenge to hit TikTok feeds? The “outlet challenge,” which authorities are warning against as it places kids and teens in immediate danger when they attempt it. Three incidents have been reported to authorities, with two happening in schools.
The outlet challenge involves part of a phone charger, a wall outlet and a penny. In the challenge, one partially plugs in an Apple USB Power Adapter (commonly referred to as a “cube”) into a wall socket, then tries to slide a penny in between the cube and the wall to get the penny to hit the metal prongs. The results can bring about bodily harm and result in sparks, electrical system damage and fire.
It caught the attention of officials after firefighters discovered two scorched outlets and a penny fused with a cellphone charger in Plymouth North High School on Tuesday. Two 15-year-old male students face charges of attempted arson and malicious damage to property under $1,200, according to Plymouth, Massachusetts police.
On Friday, in Westford, Massachusetts, Westford Academy’s fire alarm set off after a spark ignited an outlet and created smoke.
“This was a very serious incident that could have caused a lot more damage,” Westford Academy Principal James Antonelli said in a statement to parents. “The student involved has been identified and the Westford Academy administration is taking appropriate action at this time.”
Just like any TikTok trend or viral challenge, authorities fear young users don’t think about the consequences of such challenges.
“I don’t think students comprehend the reality that they can be electrocuted and killed, or start a fire,” Plymouth Fire Chief Edward Bradley told CNN. “Parents need to talk to their children and tell them if you see this stuff, don’t try to imitate it.”
Watch the dangerous TikTok outlet challenge down below: