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People warned not to use ‘dangerous’ TikTok hack to cool themselves down

·2-min read
APTOPIX Britain Heat (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)
APTOPIX Britain Heat (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

A social media hack that aims to help people cool down could actually damage their property and poses a serious safety risk, experts have warned.

The hack has been described in a range of Twitter and TikTok posts: people are advised to tie bags of ice to their fans, so that the air is cooled as it blows across. They are commonly described as a way of making air conditioning at home, and have been encouraged as a way to keep cold in the ongoing heatwave.

But charity Electrical Safety First warned that it could risk electric shock, break the fan, and destroy other objects.

It said that attaching the bags risks getting water into the motor, which could lead to electric shock to anyone that is touching it.

The weight could also destabilise the fan, causing it to fall over and potentially break, it warned.

“Videos on TikTok are encouraging sweltering Brits to practice unsafe hacks with their electric fans,” said Giuseppe Capanna, Product Safety Engineer at Electrical Safety First.

“Tying a bag of ice to a fan is very risky as it could destabilise the fan which may make it fall over, causing the blades to hit the guard and put the motor under additional strain, as well as potentially breaking your fan altogether.

“However, most importantly, the water that melts from the bag has a chance of coming into contact with the motor and causing an electric shock risk to anyone touching the fan.”

The charity also warned people not to leave fans on overnight, to only buy them from reputable retailers, to ensure that fans are on a stable surface and that they are cleaned of dust build-up.

It also warned people to check that their fans are in good working order. If it is giving off a buzzing sound, for instance, or looks like it has suffered wear or tear, then it should be turned off and checked over.

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