Coroner to recommend Apple puts warnings on products following bath death
Apple will soon receive a report from a London coroner warning them of the need to include warnings about the dangers of charging electronics near water, after a man was electrocuted when a charging iPhone made contact with his bath water.
According to The Sun, the 32-year-old man had plugged his iPhone into an extension cord from the hallway and had the handset resting on his chest. He suffered severe burns on his hand, arm and chest when the charger touched the water and died in December of last year. “When you are younger you are taught about electricity and the bath, but you don’t think about this,” the victim’s brother said. “I still find it hard to believe that between the charger plug and the phone would be enough electricity to kill someone.”
The coroner, Dr Sean Cummings told the inquest: “These seem like innocuous devices, but they can be as dangerous as a hairdryer in a bathroom. They should attach warnings. This was a tragic accident and I have no reason to believe at all that there anything other than it being completely accidental.” A prevention of future death report will be sent to Apple.
Steve Curtler, a product safety manager from Electrical Safety First, told the BBC that while “you probably wouldn’t feel” a laptop or phone if it wasn’t being charged, a connected charger is a whole different story. “Although the cable that is plugged in to your phone is 5V, somewhere along the line it’s plugged into the electricity supply, and you’re reliant on that cable and a transformer to make sure you don’t get into contact with the main voltage,” he explained. “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.”
You can find more charger advice from Electrical Safety First on their website.