Charging Cellphones in the Bed and Bath Can Be Deadly Jul 13, 2017 16:44:20 GMT -5
Post by Joanna on Jul 13, 2017 16:44:20 GMT -5
Charging Cellphones in the Bed and Bath Can Be Deadly
AUSTIN, Tex. – A Texas teenager was killed after she grasped a plugged-in cell phone while taking a bath, prompting her family to spread word of the incident to prevent another electrocution death. Madison Coe (above), 14, from Lubbock, died at her father’s home in New Mexico over the weekend while taking a bath, the Hobbs News-Sun reported, citing emergency officials. Police in Lovington, N.M., said the victim appears to have been electrocuted and they found a cellphone, charger cord and extension cord in the bathroom.
Coe’s grandmother, Donna O’Guinn, said in an interview with Lubbock TV station KCBD that the girl had a burn mark on her hand from where she held the phone. “This is such a tragedy that doesn’t need to happen to anyone else,” said.
“We want something good to come out of this as awareness of not using your cell phone in the bathroom as it is plugged in and charging,” O’Guinn added. “She was just sweet to everybody and everybody loved her.”
On Facebook, the teen’s mother Angela O’Guinn Downs, posted pictures of her daughter along with the message: “Please, please let her voice be heard and protect and educate your children on the fatal dangers of electrocution.”
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A man in Huntsville, Alabama, ended up in a hospital with second and third-degree burns after being almost electrocuted by his iPhone charger that he had plugged in before going to sleep. On March 22, Wiley Day, 32, fell asleep after plugging in his iPhone via an extension cord and keeping it with him in bed as it charged overnight.
The next morning, when Day rolled over, his necklace caught on the exposed prongs of the charger head turning the metal chain into a conductor and electricity traveled straight to his neck. “It was the eeriest, darkest, most demonic thing you could ever experience,” Day told The Washington Post. “I don’t have enough adjectives to describe it. Your body is numb at that point,” he added, “I guess people would think it would be burning, but in my case, I felt a whole lot of pressure around my neck.”
Day became acutely aware of his dangerous situation he managed to rip his metal necklace off his neck. “Had I not pulled that necklace off when I did ... I just believe that God spared my life, and that’s what happened,” Day continued.
Day was rushed to the hospital following the incident where he was treated for second and third degree burns to his hands and neck.
The behavior specialist now wants to use his experience to create awareness among people of the dangers of charging electronics in bed. “I found out most people were using extension cords because they were still on their devices in bed,” Day explained. “I mean, it’s sad but true. From my experience to others, it is not worth your life charging your electronics in bed. I mean, it’s not worth it,” he concluded. “I wouldn’t wish what happened to me on my worst enemy.”
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A British man was killed while charging his smartphone in the bath. Richard Bull, 32, was charging his iPhone while he was in the tub and when the charger made contact with the water, he was electrocuted.
At the inquest, Police Constable Craig Pattison explained how he found the extension lead running from the hallway outside into the bathroom.
Bull is believed to have plugged his charger into an extension cord from the hallway and the phone was next to the tub when it accidentally fell into the water. The victim was found by his wife who thought her husband had been attacked because of the severe burns on his body.
Bull’s death has been ruled as an accident by Coroner Sean Cummings. However, authorities are now pursuing the issue by sending a report to Apple to prevent future deaths. “This was a tragic accident and I have no reason to believe at all that there’s anything other than it being completely accidental,” Cummings said. “These seem like innocuous devices, but they can be as dangerous as a hair-dryer in a bathroom. They should attach warnings. I intend to write a report later to the makers of the phone,” he added.
Smartphone chargers typically have a low voltage of up to 5V. However, they draw power from the main electrical supply and as such rely on a cable and transformer to prevent users coming into contact with the main voltage.
Sources: Reuters, July 12, 2017; The Washington Post, April 2, 2017; and The Express-Tribune, March 18, 2017.