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ESA warns of electrical risks related to new TikTok challenge

January 28, 2020  By Kavita Sabharwal-Chomiuk

Photo: hit03662 via Pixabay

Following a number of videos uploaded to the social media platform TikTok depicting the “outlet challenge,” the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) has issued a warning to all Ontarians to not participate in this dangerous activity or share the challenge online, as it could lead to electrical fires and pose a serious safety risk.

The “outlet challenge” involves partially plugging a phone charger into the wall and then putting a penny onto the exposed part of the prongs, which results in smoke, sparks and, in some cases, fire.

“While no known injuries have been reported so far, the popularity of this challenge and the serious risk posed by the actions in these videos are very concerning,” said Dr. Joel Moody, chief public safety officer, Electrical Safety Authority. “Electricity is unforgiving, and no family should have to endure the pain of losing a loved one or their home because of a social media trend.”

Every year in Ontario, 110 kids under 15 are taken to hospital because of a preventable electrical injury.


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