Coroner says iPhones should come with warnings after man is killed while charging handset...

midian182

Posts: 6,677   +59
Staff member

Smartphone addiction is a very real problem. Some people just can’t bear to be away from their handsets, and there are those rare occasions when this behaviour can prove fatal. Last December, a UK man was electrocuted and died when he tried to charge his iPhone while in the bath. As a result, the coroner has called for Apple’s smartphones to carry safety warnings.

32-year-old Richard Bull died of an electric shock at his home in Ealing, west London on December 11 when his iPhone charger touched the bathwater he was lying in. The Sun reports that he had plugged his charger into an extension cord leading from the hallway and rested it on his chest while using the handset.

The burns Bull suffered to his chest, arm, and hand were so severe that when his wife found him in the bath she initially though he had been attacked. She called the emergency services, but paramedics said he was already dead by the time they got there.

While it may seem like an obviously dangerous thing to do, the assistant coroner at Bull’s inquest, Dr. Sean Cummings, said that Apple’s devices should come with warnings not to charge them in bathrooms. “[iPhones] seem like innocuous devices but they can be as dangerous as a hairdryer in a bathroom. They should carry warnings. I intend to write a report later to the makers of the phone.”

Product safety manager Steve Curtler told the BBC that while smartphones and laptops were unlikely to electrocute people if they came into contact with water, there’s a risk of electrocution when devices are plugged into mains supplies. "You're wet, which conducts electricity a lot better; you're in the bath with no clothes on, so skin resistance is less. You're vulnerable in the bathroom," he said.

Bull’s mother, Carole, told The Sun: “I worry so many people, and especially teenagers who can’t be separated from their phones, don’t know how dangerous it is.”

Dr. Cummings ruled the death accidental. Apple has not responded to requests for comment.

Permalink to story.

 

Nobina

Posts: 2,994   +2,783
I agree with the guys above, it's kinda obvious it can kill you but if it's not annoying and intrusive add a warning, why not...
 

stewi0001

Posts: 2,574   +2,167
It's called Darwinism....thinning out the gene pool.
Personally, I'd like to see ALL warning labels removed. If people are stupid enough
to do dumb things, then suffer the consequences.

I definitely agree that there are way too many warning labels these days which is a result of the decrees of common sense, which has now become uncommon sense. There are gray areas where it could be debated about if a warning label is needed or not.

I do agree with the mother. A lot of people are glued to their smart phones, which is an issue and comes down to the individual to be willing to exercise self discipline.

I guess all smart phones better come with a warning label that it may cause addiction *sarcasm*.

To conclude, I do disagree with Dr. Sean Cummings.

Now if you will excuse me, I need to go make some toast in the shower.
 
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Skidmarksdeluxe

Posts: 8,645   +3,289
Why bother to put warnings on anything if one is stupid enough to do what he did??? His addiction is now cured... permanently. A child doing something stupid like that is understandable that's why they need constant supervision, but a 32 year old person? Where was he when they were handing out brains?..
 
D

davislane1

Why bother to put warnings on anything if one is stupid enough to do what he did??? His addiction is now cured... permanently. A child doing something stupid like that is understandable that's why they need constant supervision, but a 32 year old person? Where was he when they were handing out brains?..

This was the type of dude who unclogs a jammed cutting deck with the lawnmower still running.
 

Terrax

Posts: 8   +16
Two words: Legislating Stupidity. This would mean adding a warning on a box (packaging redesign=$$) or adding another useless piece of paper that will go directly from the box to the trash. Companies have to bend over and take it in the tailpipe just because there are some really dumb people.
 

Skidmarksdeluxe

Posts: 8,645   +3,289
This was the type of dude who unclogs a jammed cutting deck with the lawnmower still running.
I find it very difficult to summon up any sympathy for people like this. If anything, I'm a little surprised he made to the age of 32 given his lack of common sense and logic.
 

Kibaruk

Posts: 3,836   +1,186
I'm curious as to the charger is a brick, outside of the water, not part of the phone. The charger should not put out more than 5v at a time, I have no knowledge in the electric field (More than not to use wall powered devices in the tub) but could someone explain if this is normal that it would conduct enough power to kill someone?
 

m-tec

Posts: 92   +50
Yes because the warning signs at train tracks have stopped people being killed by trains. Signs at road crossings have stopped people being run over by cars.
Err, it makes no difference.
just put a sign up saying, so just how stupid are you!? And If you die or get injured, you will be damned on social media forever! That might work
 

Kenrick

Posts: 631   +401
Dr. Sean Cummings should just make a report about how stupidity contributes to high mortality rate. Rather than blaming the phone maker, why not just blame the maker of extension wire and also blame electric wall plugs for having no caution written on it.

Sean you are a terrible doctor trying to gain fame from stupidity of people.
 

TadMSTR

Posts: 59   +25
I'm curious as to the charger is a brick, outside of the water, not part of the phone. The charger should not put out more than 5v at a time, I have no knowledge in the electric field (More than not to use wall powered devices in the tub) but could someone explain if this is normal that it would conduct enough power to kill someone?

From the article it appears that the extension cord that the charger was plugged into was also resting on his chest with the charger plug. That's what hit the water. So the title is a bit misleading as it really doesn't matter what was plugged in because he basically had an extension cord from a wall outlet hit the tub water.
 

Rippleman

Posts: 871   +394
I'm curious as to the charger is a brick, outside of the water, not part of the phone. The charger should not put out more than 5v at a time, I have no knowledge in the electric field (More than not to use wall powered devices in the tub) but could someone explain if this is normal that it would conduct enough power to kill someone?
this question makes too much sense. It shouldn't kill you unless it was a either a knock off or a defective unit. But, risks are still risks. Even if only a little, electricity and water should not be mixed.
 

Adhmuz

Posts: 2,121   +924
From the article it appears that the extension cord that the charger was plugged into was also resting on his chest with the charger plug. That's what hit the water. So the title is a bit misleading as it really doesn't matter what was plugged in because he basically had an extension cord from a wall outlet hit the tub water.

When information like this is missing it's almost pointless to have the article here in the first place, if any individual is dumb enough to get in to a bathtub with a live extension cord then they deserve what happens.

Here's the quote from Police constable Craig Pattinson

"The extension cable was on the floor and it appeared as though he had his phone charger on his chest and the part between the phone charger and the cable had made contact with the water."
 

Darth Shiv

Posts: 2,153   +752
Why bother to put warnings on anything if one is stupid enough to do what he did??? His addiction is now cured... permanently. A child doing something stupid like that is understandable that's why they need constant supervision, but a 32 year old person? Where was he when they were handing out brains?..

This was the type of dude who unclogs a jammed cutting deck with the lawnmower still running.
I shudder to think there is that kind of stupid out there but in my heart I know it is true.
 

Luurch

Posts: 30   +5
It's called Darwinism....thinning out the gene pool.
Personally, I'd like to see ALL warning labels removed. If people are stupid enough
to do dumb things, then suffer the consequences.

If they remove the warning labels stating the obvious, the companies are generally held liable for not having the label present. Wet floor sign all that jazz, people are stupid, hopefully their stupidity takes care of them before they can breed.
 
I agree with the guys above, it's kinda obvious it can kill you but if it's not annoying and intrusive add a warning, why not...

Perhaps not for a single warning about how a device plugged into the wall can kill you if used in water. But this sets a precedent that will mean companies have to send out an A4 booklet thats an inch or more thick that details all the ways the device could cause you harm. AND then we get another authority saying that those booklets are bad for the environment and that their study shows that in a poll 1% of the respondents read the book, 40% recycled it and the rest just threw it into trash.

There should be no need for us to run peoples lives, there is plenty of evidence that humans can take care of themselves and if stupid people kill themselves then perhaps its a good thing. Sadly, people have come to see life as a right and that nothing should get in the way of that. Life is a gift, and we should do our best to make it a good one by learning how to live.