By Stetson Miller

MARYLAND (WJZ) — Parents are being warned about a new challenge on the social media video app TikTok that can cause a fire or injuries, the Office of the State Fire Marshal said Thursday.

Office of the State Fire Marshal, Maryland

The challenge on the app dares users to plug a part of a phone charger partly into the wall outlet and then slide a penny down the wall onto the exposed prongs, causing sparks, electrical system damage and even fires in some cases.

“A person could actually get burned or electrocuted,” Senior Deputy Fire Marshal Oliver Alkire said. “It also could cause sparks to fly up in their faces and cause injury.”

Officials said parents should look for scorch marks on the wall and if they find them, contact the fire department as a precaution.

“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,” said State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci.

Office of the State Fire Marshal, Maryland

In addition to being dangerous, trying out the challenge could also come with criminal penalties.

“If you do actually do it, both either in your home and school, you could possibly face charges,” Alkire said.

There have been no reported incidents in Maryland so far, but there have been two incidents in Massachusetts, the fire marshal said.

Stetson Miller


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