Teens Urged To Stop Putting Coins In Phone Chargers For Dangerous TikTok Challenge
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Teenagers have been warned not to put coins into partially inserted phone chargers as part of a dangerous TikTok challenge.
Videos have been shared on the site in which people slide coins between a charger and a socket, so that the coin touches the exposed prongs. The challenge can cause damage to electrics, but much more worryingly, the sparks can ignite fires.
Firefighters were called to Plymouth North High School, in Massachusetts, USA, on Tuesday after pupils attempted the challenge, causing the plug socket to spark and smoke.
Plymouth Fire Department Chief G. Edward Bradley subsequently issued a warning about the dangers of the foolish trend.
According to ABC 6, he said: "These actions are extremely dangerous and could potentially start a fire and cause thousands of dollars in property damage. It could also cause serious injury to anyone who is nearby.
"The other issue can be that you do damage to some electrical wiring behind the wall and a fire could be undetected and burning in the walls, endangering everyone that's in the building."
He added that the viral nature of the challenge caused people to overlook the obvious dangers.
According to 10 Boston, he said: "Social media elevates it. They see it online, they see someone do it, they start laughing, they run away and no one gets hurt and they assume the same will happen when they do it, so they think it's funny to do it in a classroom."
Massachusetts State Fire Marshal Peter J Ostroskey said a fire had been caused in the same way at Westford Academy and the student responsible would be facing charges.
This is just the latest in a long line of daft trends to sweep the web.
Last year, a boy in the US was badly burnt after his friends set him alight as part of a 'fire challenge'.
Jason Clearly, from Dearborn Heights, Michigan, was doused with nail polish remover before being set alight in October, sustaining second-degree burns on his chin, chest and stomach and spending four days in hospital.
His mum, Tabatha, has warned people against attempting the viral 'challenge', which sees young people cover themselves in flammable substances before setting themselves on fire.
Speaking to WDIV, she said: "I just want everybody to know that these challenges, or whatever they're watching on YouTube, is not worth risking your life.
"My son got [second-degree burns], and it could've been way worse."