'They should attach warnings': Man electrocuted by iPhone charger in bath

A man has been electrocuted to death after his iPhone charger made contact with the water while he was taking a bath in his home in Ealing, west London.

'They should attach warnings': Man electrocuted by i Phone charger in bath

'They should attach warnings': Man electrocuted by i Phone charger in bath

Richard Bull, 32, is believed to have plugged the charger into an extension cord from the hallway then rested it on his chest while using the phone.

He suffered from such severe burns to the chest, arm and hand that his wife, Tanya Bull, believed he had been attacked at first.

Ms Bull called 999 but paramedics said he was already dead by the time they arrived, The Sun reported.

Assistant Coroner Dr Sean Cummings ruled the death an accident but will prepare an official prevention of future death report to send Apple about the case.

Richie Bull plugged his charger into an extension cord and i Phone before resting it on his chest while he took a bath. He died of heart complications soon after.

He told West London Coroner’s Court: “These seem like innocuous devices but 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.”


Mr Bull had been getting ready to meet family members to exchange Christmas presents when the accident happened on 11 December.

His brother Andrew said: “We can all be careless at times. You don’t think there is enough electricity to do this, but there is.

“It was such a needless and tragic accident.”

The assistant coroner said he wants Apple to issue a warning about how dangerous the devices can be when mixed with water. Source: Getty Images

But Steve Curtler, from safety charity Electrical Safety First, said people underestimate how powerful chargers can be.

He told the BBC that a mobile phone or a laptop typically only has a low voltage of 5V to 20V and would not harm you if they made contact with water – but connecting them to the mains electricity supply carries a much greater risk.

He said: "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.

"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."


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