A 32-year-old British man died after electrocuting himself while charging his iPhone in the bath. The fatality appears to have been an accident, rather than suicide.
Richard Bull reportedly plugged his iPhone charger into an extension cord, and then rested the handset on his chest while he was submerged in water. He was pronounced dead by paramedics after they arrived at his London home.
According to Bull’s widow, the burns were severe enough that it looked as though he had been attacked. The incident took place in December last year, although an inquest into his death has just been completed.
In the coroner’s report, they noted that using a seemingly “innocuous device” like the iPhone, can be “as dangerous as a hairdryer in a bathroom.” The coroner also said that “[Apple] should attach warnings” about possible risks, and said that, “I intend to write a report later to the makers of the phone.”
Sadly, this isn’t the first time we’ve heard reports about iPhones being responsible for accidental electrocutions. Although not true in this case, these are most commonly tied to users’ decisions to use dodgy, third-party chargers. A 2016 report into counterfeit chargers suggested that 99 percent fail basic safety tests — with only 3 of 400 tested chargers having enough insulation to protect users against potentially fatal electric shocks.
Apple has long taken proactive steps to get customers to use official chargers. A few years ago it announced a new USB Power Adapter Takeback Program for those who wish to swap out their third-party chargers for official ones. Whether it will be compelled to add additional warnings following this latest news story remains to be seen!
Source: Daily Mail