London man killed after charging iPhone

The Telegraph reports that 32-year-old Richard Bull died after his phone accidentally fell in the water as he was bathing in December.

While some models of iPhones are considered water resistant, Apple said not to charge an iPhone unless it is completely dry.

As the Daily Mail reports, when police arrived at the scene they found an extension cord leading into the bathroom from the hallway.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, Dr Sean Cummings, who conducted the inquest at West London Coroner's Court on Wednesday said, "These seem like innocuous devices but can be as risky as a hairdryer in a bathroom".

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

He said cheap, non-branded chargers may not offer such protection, but even with genuine chargers you are still taking an unnecessary risk.

A fundamental rule taught in science class is that water is a good conductor of electricity, and so are other minerals and contaminants found in the liquid. "You're vulnerable in the bathroom".

"If you have got any appliance attached to the mains electricity circuit, you have to be aware there is a danger there".

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. "It's not advisable to use them while they're plugged in, particularly in a bathroom situation", Merrill added.

  • Salvatore Jensen