Firefighters warn against latest viral social media challenge

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HASLETT, MI. (WILX) - Firefighters are warning people to not participate in the latest social media challenge.

The "outlet challenge" is causing firefighters concern.

The "outlet challenge" or "penny challenge" is making the rounds on the video-sharing app TikTok.

"It's incredibly stupid to try and do this," said Meridian Township Fire Inspector Tavis Millerov.

"This is one of the more horrible ideas to come out of recent social media times," said Delta Township Fire Inspector Michael Roberts.

The challenge involves a phone charger sticking out from an outlet and sliding a penny between the prongs.

"When this happens, and they make contact with both sides of the prongs, it creates a light show, a series of sparks," said Millerov.

The managers of an apartment complex in Haslett blame the challenge for several burned outlets.

"It doesn't surprise me at all, it is making the rounds throughout the whole metropolitan area," said Millerov.

Millerov said firefighters weren't called when it happened.

Even if there is no visible fire, Millerov said firefighters should still check it out.

"It ends up making a bigger problem. You can have a potential fire within the wall, or you can even fry the electrical system," he said.

"You're creating two hazards. One, you could shock yourself which could lead to injury and death. Two, it very easily starts fires," said Roberts.

He said people need to think about the consequences of this challenge.

"Any fire, no matter the size, can always cause injury, damage or death. It doesn't matter how big or small," said Roberts. "We don't want anyone to try this challenge. It is a horrible idea."

Parents worried about kids participating in the "outlet challenge" can block apps on a child's phone by using parental control settings.

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