Two 15-year-old boys have been reportedly charged with attempted arson for using a penny to cause a short circuit in an electrical outlet in an online trending challenge in Plymouth on Tuesday. The social media challenge asks the internet users to partially plug a phone charger into an outlet and then slide a penny between the outlet and the charger prongs. The challenge originated on the Chinese video app TikTok as it was widely circulated and made it on YouTube.
The teenagers reportedly posted the video online after their dangerous attempt at scorching the electrical point of Plymouth High School causing minor damage to the building and fused sockets. Michael Botieri, a Plymouth Police Chief told the media that the reckless behaviour portrayed by the boys was extremely dangerous and risky and had the potential to cause damage to the property as well as a serious injury to the students, staff or visitors.
According to the post of the Holden fire department on Facebook, it is a life-threatening challenge that is trending amongst the teenagers and it might cause sparks, electrical system damage and potentially a fire that could pose serious implication.
“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 the fire department in a warning post on Social Media.
An identical incident was reported last week where the anonymous students had attempted at the risky challenge causing damage and fire in the electrical outlets. They were reportedly charged with destructive injury to the residence and tried arson.