See What They Don’t Want You To Know! Electrocution Risk From Common Device

Millions of people use cell phones. We rely on them for many of our day to day activities; checking our work email, calling our spouse, or playing our favorite app. Time Magazine reported “a study recently released by Deloitte found that Americans collectively check their smartphones 8 billion times a day.”

Each of those 8 billion times the phones are checked it is under the assumption that it is safe. Consumers often don’t think about safety and reliability of everyday items because responsibility is put solely on the manufacturer. Recent events should make the consumer think otherwise.

Reuters reported:

“Madison Coe, 14, from Lubbock, Tex., died at her father’s home in New Mexico on July 8 while taking a bath. Coe’s family told local news her cellphone had fallen into the bathtub and she had a burn mark on her hand. The medical examiner has yet to rule on the official cause of death, but authorities said in a news release that ‘initial evidence shows signs consistent with electrocution.’”

TheWashington Post reported:

“Lovington police confirmed that a cellphone, a charging cord and an extension cord were found by the bathtub, reported the Associated Press. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission told USA today that it is investigating the incident”. Young Madison was using a “Samsung edge plus” when she was found in the bathtub.

Although it is not reported if Madison was using an official charger or not, many Americans don’t and opt to buy knock-off brands at a discounted price. This poses a serious hazard for consumers. Samsung and Apple explicitly warn against this danger.

Coventry Telegraph reported “Out of 400 counterfeit Apple chargers purchased from online suppliers around the world, a hefty 397 failed a basic safety test.”

Samsung Health and Safety and Warranty Guide read, “Misuse or use of incompatible phones, batteries, and charging devices could result in damage to the equipment and possible risk of fire, explosion, or leakage leading to serious injuries, damage to your phone, or other serious hazards.”

Forbes also warns to take heed in the following report:

“Apple purchased over 100 iPhone devices, chargers and Lightning cables listed as genuine by other Amazon.com suppliers and determined that a majority of the products were fake and risky. These products can be dangerous because it could cause fires or cause deadly electric shocks to consumers even in normal use due to “inadequate electrical insulation.”

Scott Wolfson, Communications Director for the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, stated, “We have seen very few incidents related to shock or electrocution (involving cell phones).”

There have been some cell phone electrocution cases that have caught the media’s eye over the past few years. Ma Ailun, 23, died in China while answering heriPhone5after getting out of the bath while it was plugged in, reported by China’s Xinhua News Agency.

Evgenia Sviridenko, 24, died of electrocution after taking her phone into the bathtub reported Mirror. This occurred only days after “a 16-year-old girl died in Russia’s Bashkortostan Republic after taking her charging phone into the bathroom as she was taking a shower.”

“Very few” electrocutions are enough to rethink product safety and how we handle our cellular devices. Follow these simple steps to prevent injury and death.

  • Make sure that you are using the charger that came with your device.
  • Do not take any electrical device that is plugged in near water.
  • Leave your cell phone in a cool place. If a phone is left in excessive heat like the sun or in a vehicle on a hot day the battery could overheat, causing smoke, fire, or explosion.
  • Be cautious about using extension cords because these increase risk of electric shock.

Technology is often taken for granted and is a powerful force to reckon with. We are responsible for using technological tools in a safe manner and to read the manuals and warnings ahead of time.

“This is such a tragedy that doesn’t need to happen to anyone else,” Madison’s grandmother told KCBD-TV. “And we want something good to come out of this as awareness of not using your cellphone in the bathroom as it is plugged in and charging.”

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