By Mike Sokol
Welcome to my J.A.M. (Just Ask Mike) Session, a weekly column where I answer your basic electrical questions. If you’re a newbie who’s never plugged in a shore power cord (or ask – what’s a shore power cord?), or wonder why your daughter’s hair dryer keeps tripping the circuit breaker, this column is for you. Send your questions to Mike Sokol at mike (at) noshockzone.org with the subject line – JAM.
I just saw this on the news today, and while it’s not 100% RV related, it is indeed an electrical safety issue that could injure someone you love or even set your RV on fire. And this does possibly involve your own kids and grandchildren (maybe on your next camping trip) so read on and warn your friends and children about it.
DO NOT Do The Outlet Challenge!!!
Social media platforms including TicTok have been promoting something called “the Outlet Challenge,” where a cell phone charger is half-way plugged into a wall outlet and a penny is dropped onto the exposed contacts, creating a big electrical arc and frying the outlet. The kids then video the resulting arc-flash and post it on TicTok to prove they performed the challenge. Yes, it’s crazy and dangerous.
Warn Your Youngsters About This!
All I can say is WOW this is dangerous! Depending on the exact situation, doing this will at least fry the electrical outlet, could start a fire in the wall, possibly blind the person dropping the penny onto the outlet contacts, and maybe even result in death from electrocution if they’re standing on a wet floor and touch the penny while it’s making contact with the live wire.
Take a look at this video (click on image) so you understand what’s going on, and if you see anyone playing around an electrical outlet with a cell phone charger and a penny, stop them immediately, tell them about the dangers, and notify their parents. This is serious stuff and I don’t want to be writing about any fires or injuries next week.
OK, everyone. Remember that electricity is a useful and powerful force, so we all need to pay attention to safety precautions while using it.
Let’s play safe out there….
Mike Sokol is an electrical and professional sound expert with 50+ years in the industry. His excellent book RV Electrical Safety is available at Amazon.com. For more info on Mike’s qualifications as an electrical expert, click here.
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