Man killed charging his iPhone while taking a bath

Matthew.H

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 16, 2015
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Norwich, UK
I really don't know how to describe the foolishness of this guy in words. May he rest in peace.

http://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknew...G?li=BBoPWjQ&ocid=mailsignout#image=BByipVA|2

A coroner is to warn Apple that iPhone chargers can be potentially lethal after a man was electrocuted in the bath.

Richard Bull, 32, was charging his phone next to the tub when it accidentally fell into the water.

He was found by his wife Tanya, who thought her husband had been attacked because his burns were so severe.

She made a distraught call to the police, who found that Mr Bull had used an extension lead from the hallway of his Ealing home so he could use the phone in the bath.

He was getting ready to go out meet family members to exchange Christmas presents when the tragedy happened on December 11.

Coroner Dr Sean Cummings said: "This was a tragic accident and I have no reason to believe at all that there anything other than it being completely accidental.

"These seem like innocuous devices, but they can be as dangerous as a hairdryer in a bathroom. They should attach warnings

"I intend to write a report later to the makers of the phone."

Richard's mother Carole said: "I have worried that so many people and especially teenagers, that can't be separated from their phones, don't know how dangerous it is."

His brother Andrew said: "When you are younger you are taught about electricity and the bath, but you don't think about this.

"I still find it hard to believe that between the charger plug and the phone would be enough electricity to kill someone."

A keen rugby player, Richard captained amateur side Old Actonians RFC as well as playing for Ealing Exiles.

PC Craig Pattison told the inquest at West London Coroner's Court how he found the extension lead running from the hallway outside into the bathroom.

"We found an iPhone plugged into the extension cable and then the charger element in the bath," he explained.
 
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jeremysteele

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Jul 13, 2011
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Sad and unfortunate. However, I absolutely hate stories like this that are obviously witch-hunts/click bait....

He was found by his wife Tanya, who thought her husband had been attacked because his burns were so severe.
Pretty obvious the extension cord & USB brick were submerged as well, if he got such burns. USB does not have nearly enough voltage to kill someone, let alone shock them, even when taking into account lower resistance due to the water.

And a wet phone won't cause this either. People submerge their dang phones constantly - and you sure don't hear about tens of thousands of people dying from it.

There was a similar story back in 2015 - and no additional evidence/news came out after it (probably because they realized the electrocution had to do with an extension cable, not the iphone or charger [witch hunt/media frenzy over...]).
 
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Bubble99

macrumors 6502
Mar 15, 2015
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I really don't know how to describe the stupidity of this guy in words.

http://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknew...G?li=BBoPWjQ&ocid=mailsignout#image=BByipVA|2
This why people today forgot what they use to teach in schools in the old days that any thing electronic should not be any where close to water that means cell phones, radios, CD players, MP3 players, iPhone, iPad, laptop, notebooks computers and any thing electronic. Have your bath than get out and dry than do what yo have to do.


And hair dryers should not even be used any where close to the bathroom.
 

MagnusVonMagnum

macrumors 603
Jun 18, 2007
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If he had used the proper safety outlets in his bathroom (instead of some odd sounding extension cord that sounds like it might have plugged in a lot further away), it still wouldn't have happened. I honestly think schools today spend more time teaching about "feelings" and other nonsense instead of basic knowledge about things like electricity or even how to balance a checkbook or file your own taxes. I remember those classes either being optional in school or non-existent while a class on geology was mandatory (yes, it's important to know what type of rocks are in the backyard instead of basic electricity or life skills). No child left behind...what exactly? The curriculum sucked.
 
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Mousse

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Apr 7, 2008
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Just because the new iPhone is water resistant... A improbable chain of little mistakes added up into one tragic one. One break in that chain and this would be a non-story. If he had plugged into a GFCI outlet. If he had not plugged it in at all. IF.o_O
 

NT1440

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May 18, 2008
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If he had used the proper safety outlets in his bathroom (instead of some odd sounding extension cord that sounds like it might have plugged in a lot further away), it still wouldn't have happened. I honestly think schools today spend more time teaching about "feelings" and other nonsense instead of basic knowledge about things like electricity or even how to balance a checkbook or file your own taxes. I remember those classes either being optional in school or non-existent while a class on geology was mandatory (yes, it's important to know what type of rocks are in the backyard instead of basic electricity or life skills). No child left behind...what exactly? The curriculum sucked.
The guy was 32....He hadn't been in school in decades, this story was also not from the USA...so while you're rant on no child left behind may be correct....this has nothing to do with the USA OR current curricula. Might as well yell at clouds.
 

sorcery

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Mar 27, 2016
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Coroner Dr Sean Cummings said: "This was a tragic accident and I have no reason to believe at all that there anything other than it being completely accidental.

Translation: I cannot prove otherwise
 

weckart

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Nov 7, 2004
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If he had used the proper safety outlets in his bathroom (instead of some odd sounding extension cord that sounds like it might have plugged in a lot further away), it still wouldn't have happened. I honestly think schools today spend more time teaching about "feelings" and other nonsense instead of basic knowledge about things like electricity or even how to balance a checkbook or file your own taxes. I remember those classes either being optional in school or non-existent while a class on geology was mandatory (yes, it's important to know what type of rocks are in the backyard instead of basic electricity or life skills). No child left behind...what exactly? The curriculum sucked.
UK bathrooms tend not to have any high current electrical power points except for lightbulbs for precisely the reason highlighted by the story here. Building regulations forbid adding any and even mandate a minimum distance between any light socket and source of water. At most, you may find a low current shaver socket but those are mostly in hotels and the two pin socket for those will not fit UK or continental plugs - just the slightly narrower ones found on electrical shavers.

Tourists and expats do complain - particularly from the US, since drying one's hair in the bathroom with an electric hairdryer seems to be a thing over there.
 
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iphonehype

macrumors 6502a
Sep 14, 2012
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Sorry if this has been posted. I read it and was in complete shock.

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/apple-iphones-warning-electrocuted-bath-charging-richard-bull-ealing-west-london-coroner-sean-a7639961.html?amp

You seriously expect manufactures more specifically Apple to say don't charge your iPhone in the bath? How is this more dangerous than a hairdryer? Surly any device plugged into the mains touching water is dangerous? I use my iPhone in the bath all the time but never plugged in.

God damnit where has common sense gone! I almost feel no remorse for the person who do this call me cold hearted but how stupid!
[doublepost=1490091459][/doublepost]Okay I take it back. It's sad we lost another human soul, it is sad. We do need to educate people if this became a regular occurrence we could have a big issue at hand. I hope schools are teaching our young ones in Science.
 

EnderBeta

macrumors 6502a
Aug 5, 2016
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Even as a young child it was always incredibly obvious that you don't take anything into the bath that is plugged into electricity. Not exactly rocket science is it?
I don't think a safety warning is required. I'm sure the man was a good person. God rest his soul. But he had zero common sense. A hallway electrical plug doesn't have a ground fault circuit interrupter. If his bathroom had a electrical socket GFCI he would most likely still be alive today.
 
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Adam Warlock

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Jun 22, 2016
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If his bathroom had a electrical socket GFCI he would most likely still be alive today.
Never mind that or that he was an idiot for playing with an electrical device in the bath, but what should be truly infuriating is that he couldn't put his goddamn phone down for 5 minutes even while in the bathroom! Sheesh! I see dolts at work at the urinals peeing and using their phone! Give it a rest, fellas!
 

MagnusVonMagnum

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Jun 18, 2007
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The guy was 32....He hadn't been in school in decades, this story was also not from the USA...so while you're rant on no child left behind may be correct....this has nothing to do with the USA OR current curricula. Might as well yell at clouds.
I missed the London bit when I read it (age should not be an excuse, particularly for anyone growing up in the mid 1970s or later in the US at which point code demands GFCI in bathrooms), yes, but even so you're saying they don't have the equivalent of GFCI outlets in the UK? A quick search implies the availability (at least) of RCD outlets (more or less works the same thing as GFCI in the USA), although it would appear they typically use 30ma instead of 5ma, which seems more for equipment and really isn't as good of protection for humans against shock as 5ma, which is typically the level above which you begin to have trouble letting go and muscle tissue damage can occur, but 30ma is better than nothing (100ma is typically the danger level for your heart, although that is generally based on 120, not 240).

The hotel I stayed at in London last year had an auto-switching 120/240 shaving outlet (which oddly enough I used to charge my phone since I didn't have a 240 converter) and now I have to wonder if it had any protection at all on it (search implies transformer isolated and low-amp fuse in the hundres of ma range). It would seem UK bathrooms aren't typically allowed anything but a low-current shaving outlet ANYWHERE and typically required the use of pull-chains for lights to protect against shock rather than any type of RCD/GFI. If you want regular light switches, the switch needs to be outside the bathroom (the hotel bathroom did have the switches for it on the outside).

I guess the UK hasn't heard of modern technology that makes your bathroom better (outlets are handy everywhere) and safer (GFCI pretty much makes outlets in a bathroom perfectly safe) and this poor wally wouldn't have been dragging extension cords into the bathroom in the first place.

UK bathrooms tend not to have any high current electrical power points except for lightbulbs for precisely the reason highlighted by the story here. Building regulations forbid adding any and even mandate a minimum distance between any light socket and source of water. At most, you may find a low current shaver socket but those are mostly in hotels and the two pin socket for those will not fit UK or continental plugs - just the slightly narrower ones found on electrical shavers.

Tourists and expats do complain - particularly from the US, since drying one's hair in the bathroom with an electric hairdryer seems to be a thing over there.
I stayed at the Apex (near Tower Bridge) last year and it had a 120/240 "shaving" outlet that was enough to use a US charging cord (older lower current one anyway) for a phone. I knew about it before I even went there as carrying a 240 to 120V converter is heavy (and good ones aren't cheap) and could have pushed my suitcase into a higher category.

That was handy, but I can see why tourists (well women anyway) would complain. That's what the GFCI was invented to do, protect in bathrooms and other wet (e.g. outdoor) locations. They've been mandatory for outside and bathrooms since about 1973/1976 respectively in the USA. A hair dryer dropped into a bucket of water (with and without a GFCI) was actually a demonstration in my 1st year AC/DC circuits course. Without the GFCI the hair dryer continued to run underwater! With the GFCI, it stopped instantly. I certainly feel better with them around. Since 1996, they're required in kitchen environments as well in the USA. Some states might have more stringent requirements yet (e.g. California), but having no outlet seems a bit extreme and clearly led this guy to cheat with an extension cord and it cost him his life. I'd argue the UK should move to allowing GFCI/RCD outlets in the bathroom. It's better to have safe outlets than drive people to get around it with extension cords.
 
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NT1440

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May 18, 2008
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I missed the London bit when I read it (age should not be an excuse, particularly for anyone growing up in the mid 1970s or later in the US at which point code demands GFCI in bathrooms), yes, but even so you're saying they don't have the equivalent of GFCI outlets in the UK? A quick search implies the availability (at least) of RCD outlets (more or less works the same thing as GFCI in the USA), although it would appear they typically use 30ma instead of 5ma, which seems more for equipment and really isn't as good of protection for humans against shock as 5ma, which is typically the level above which you begin to have trouble letting go and muscle tissue damage can occur, but 30ma is better than nothing (100ma is typically the danger level for your heart, although that is generally based on 120, not 240).

The hotel I stayed at in London last year had an auto-switching 120/240 shaving outlet (which oddly enough I used to charge my phone since I didn't have a 240 converter) and now I have to wonder if it had any protection at all on it (search implies transformer isolated and low-amp fuse in the hundres of ma range). It would seem UK bathrooms aren't typically allowed anything but a low-current shaving outlet ANYWHERE and typically required the use of pull-chains for lights to protect against shock rather than any type of RCD/GFI. If you want regular light switches, the switch needs to be outside the bathroom (the hotel bathroom did have the switches for it on the outside).

I guess the UK hasn't heard of modern technology that makes your bathroom better (outlets are handy everywhere) and safer (GFCI pretty much makes outlets in a bathroom perfectly safe) and this poor wally wouldn't have been dragging extension cords into the bathroom in the first place.
Lol, not one thing you've posted addressed what I wrote. Not one. I didn't even discuss electrical outlets. I was talking about your nonsensical ranting that boiled down to "kids these days".

Are you sure you were responding to me?
 
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Newtons Apple

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Never mind that or that he was an idiot for playing with an electrical device in the bath, but what should be truly infuriating is that he couldn't put his goddamn phone down for 5 minutes even while in the bathroom! Sheesh! I see dolts at work at the urinals peeing and using their phone! Give it a rest, fellas!
and these same dolts occasionally have to reach into that urinal to recover their dropped phone!

I agree, there has to be a time when you say, ENOUGH!
 

MagnusVonMagnum

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Jun 18, 2007
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Lol, not one thing you've posted addressed what I wrote. Not one. I didn't even discuss electrical outlets. I was talking about your nonsensical ranting that boiled down to "kids these days".

Are you sure you were responding to me?
I'm sure I was talking about the original article for the most part which is important. You whining about kids being too young or stupid to remember anything isn't really relevant, but I did mention AGE IS NOT AN EXCUSE (as you indicated it is apparently by calling that non-sensical). I guess you missed that because you weren't really looking. You'd rather just whine some more.
 

NT1440

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May 18, 2008
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I'm sure I was talking about the original article for the most part which is important. You whining about kids being too young or stupid to remember anything isn't really relevant, but I did mention AGE IS NOT AN EXCUSE. I guess you missed that because you weren't really looking.
....Reread your original post that I responded to. I was not the one asserting that kids are too dumb because of No Child Left Behind....which isn't even a thing in the country the article is from. :rolleyes:

I wasn't looking at your talk about electrical outlets, clearly, because my entire post was laughing at your Grandpa Simpson routine aimed at the wrong country.

Just to clarify things a bit. ;)
 

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
22,261
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ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
God damnit where has common sense gone! I almost feel no remorse for the person who do this call me cold hearted but how stupid!
Sounds like a Darwin Award winner for sure!

darwinawards-com-logo.jpg

I was always taught a healthy respect for electricity. Maybe that's just because was dad was an electrical engineer in aerospace for 40 years, but also my own sense of self-preservation.

I never use my phone in the bathroom. It's just too dangerous, too much moisture and I'm not into having to explain to my wife how I ruined for no damn good reason a ~$900 device we can't afford to replace. All the way around, it's not worth it.
 
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