Fire chief discusses dangers of new internet challenge

Baxter Fire Chief Matthew White warns against dangers of social media challenges.
(Photo by Shelby Campbell)

Baxter fire chief Matthew White discussed the dangers of the recent Tik Tok challenge sparking house fires across the nation.

This challenge involves sliding a penny between the adaptor of a phone charger and the outlet, which could cause electrical damage.

White said while students are aware of fire safety, they do not understand the repercussions of trying dangerous social media challenges.

“They don’t realize the danger and what kind of outcome it might be, because just their simple action in their room may affect someone on an entire floor, next room, next area, or even an entire building catching on fire,” White said.

Dorm fires could damage electrical circuits to the whole floor or fires in the fuse panels, he said.

“During my freshman year, I don’t recall RAs ever going into detail about what to do in case of a fire, except for to go down the back staircase,” sophomore Lindsey Stephens said about living in the dorms.

Stephens said that she felt safe in the dorms and knew the staff would do their job if the time came.

The Baxter Fire Department has not received any calls about this social media challenge, but are prepared for it if the time comes, White said.

“I know with their resident assistants that they have to do certain training and they’re able to meet their criteria that they have. They have some education in it, but it’s kind of overlooked, partially,” White said.

Students should be aware of the repercussions and report of any incidents to campus police.