Apple told to warn against charging phone in bath after man’s electrocution

iphone charging accident 2
Poravute/123RF
Some folks simply can’t resist taking their smartphone into the bathtub to check their social media feeds or play games, and occasional reports of fatal accidents suggest a small percentage may be going one step further and also charging their device while in the tub.

One such person, 32-year-old Richard Bull of London, died on December 11 from an electric shock he received when his iPhone charger touched the water of the bath he was in. The coroner examining the case, Dr. Sean Cummings, last week ruled the death as accidental, but said he intended to ask Apple to take steps to help prevent further such incidents.

Cummings said that while smartphones “seem like innocuous devices … they can be as dangerous as a hairdryer in a bathroom,” adding that handset makers “should attach warnings” to the devices to warn of the risks.

The postmortem into the fatal accident, which happened in December 2016, revealed burns on the right arm and right hand of 32-year-old Bull, the coroner said. His wife had called for help but he was already dead when first responders arrived at their London home. Police who investigated the scene said they found an extension cord running between the hallway and the bathroom.

Sheila Merrill of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents told the BBC that while such incidents are rare, “people need to be aware of taking an electrical appliance into the bathroom.”

“If you have got any appliance attached to the mains electricity circuit, you have to be aware there is a danger there,” Merrill said. “Electricity and water don’t mix, but particularly with phones, people don’t … always think about it. It’s not advisable to use them while they’re plugged in, particularly in a bathroom situation.”

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.”

Emerging Tech

I mainlined a bag of liquid vitamins — for science

Healthy people are signing up for treatments that are typically saved for patients stuck in hospital beds. Known as nutrient IV therapy, the treatment entails pumping vitamins, minerals, and fluids directly into the bloodstream, bypassing…
Smart Home

Get your spring in full swing with 10 gadgets to clean and declutter your home

Spring cleaning is like every chore you hate to do, multiplied by 10. Luckily, technology is here to help, in some situations. These gadgets will make the tasks go a little faster. We hope.
Movies & TV

Skip the flowers and sunshine this spring and watch the best shows on Hulu

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Gaming

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.
Deals

Apple iPad and iPad Pros get big discounts for Memorial Day weekend

Apple iPads have been getting a lot of great discounts so far this year, and Memorial Day 2019 proves to be no exception. With prices as low as $249 for newer models, Memorial Day weekend is a great time to pick one up.
Mobile

Lyft’s wallet-friendly Shared Saver option arrives in six more U.S. cities

Lyft is expanding its wallet-friendly Shared Saver option to Atlanta, Las Vegas, Miami, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Seattle after launching it earlier this year in Denver, New York City, and San Jose.
Mobile

Huawei's situation in the U.S. may improve when trade war is resolved

The U.S. Commerce Department has added Huawei to its "Entity List." Google, Intel, and ARM are all confirmed or rumored to be ceasing business with the company, which may have disastrous effects on Huawei.
Mobile

You can't fool us -- this is definitely the Moschino Honor 20 Pro phone

Honor has launched the Honor 20 Pro and the Honor 20 at an event that took place in London. The new smartphone is surprisingly compact, with an impressive four-lens camera for taking stunning shots, day or night.
Deals

Amazon Memorial Day sale: Apple Watch, Surface Pro, and 4K TV Deals

Amazon is discounting a number of different items. Smartwatches, tablets, 4K TVs, smart home devices, and laptops are all getting discounts to stay competitive with prices from Walmart and Best Buy.
Deals

Best Memorial Day sales 2019: Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart drop discounts

If you're looking to save big on some shiny new stuff for Memorial Day 2019, we've gathered everything you need to know into one place. Find out where to save the most money before the summer hits its stride.
Mobile

The 20 best iPhone SE cases to keep your phone looking like new

Protect your iPhone properly with one of the best iPhone SE cases or covers. That metal-and-glass body is prone to scuffs and scratches, so it pays to buy a decent case. We've got protective and stylish options for you here.
Emerging Tech

The best solar chargers for your phone, tablet, and other battery-powered gear

Looking for a gizmo that can help you charge your phone while on the go? Here, we've outlined the best solar chargers on the market, whether you're looking to charge your phone once, twice, or three times over.
Product Review

Garmin’s Forerunner 245 Music is all a runner needs to measure performance

Garmin's new Forerunner 245 fitness watch offers advanced metrics, onboard color maps and music. Is this trio a winning combination? We put the watch through its paces to find out.
Deals

Make some time for the best smartwatch deals for May 2019

Smartwatches make your life easier by sending alerts right on your wrist. Many also provide fitness-tracking features. So if you're ready to take the plunge into wearables and want to save money, read on for the best smartwatch deals for…