Man Gets Electrocuted While Charging iPhone In Bath: Here's Why You Shouldn't A Charge Smartphone In Water

20 March 2017, 2:59 am EDT By Steve Bowman Tech Times
The death of a British man from electrocution while charging his iPhone in the bath, has highlighted the dangers of such actions. Experts have advised people to restrict usage of electronic devices near water.  ( Shawn Nystrand | Flickr )

Smartphones have become an indispensable aspect of one's day-to-day lives and people are often worried about its battery draining out.

To keep the battery of the smartphone optimal, people do not miss an opportunity to charge their handset. This is often done even while performing several tasks on the device.

There have been numerous incidents of iPhones blowing up or exploding when on charge. Often people tend to ignore the warning and continue to leave their smartphone on charge while immersed in other activities. Such was the case of 32-year-old Richard Bull from Britain, who suffered from severe burns after his iPhone exploded.

The Incident

On December 11, 2016, Bull - a resident of Ealing, West London - was declared death by medical experts. He had endured severe burns on this chest, arm, and hands while lying inside his bathtub. Bull had reportedly been charging his iPhone when inside the tub.

Bull was apparently using the phone while bathing and got electrocuted when the device's charger touched the water's surface.

He was charred in such a severe way that his wife thought that someone had attacked him. The victim was found with his iPhone on his chest. The device was plugged to the extension cord across his hallway.

"We found an iPhone plugged into the extension cable and then the charger element in the bath. The extension cable was on the floor and it appeared as though he had his phone charger on his chest and the part between the phone charger and the cable had made contact with the water," said PC Craig Pattinson who was investigating the case.

 The inquiry concluded that the death was caused due to accidental electrocution. The Assistant Coroner in the present case said he would write a letter to Apple, asking the company to include a warning about using its smartphones near water.

What Led To The Accident?

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.

There are varied reasons why one should not use an electronic device or a mobile phone while being in water, especially when it is plugged in.

One of the foremost reasons is that when water and electricity combine, the electric current travels through the liquid. If an individual is in the way, it can lead to electrocution as in the case of Bull.


One should take that an electronic device never comes in contact with water. The reason behind this precaution is that it not only damages the device, but may even lead to severe accidents - even death!

Users should always go through the manual which accompanies their phone. It contains all the warnings and if one follows them, these untoward incidents can be avoided.

It must be noted that although in this case the device was an iPhone, the same can happen with any electronic gadget.

Photo: Shawn Nystrand | Flickr

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