Author Topic: Is this really likely?  (Read 8130 times)

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Offline FlyingHacker

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Re: Is this really likely?
« Reply #25 on: July 12, 2017, 04:26:04 pm »
I thought at least one of these cases involved a mains extension cord, where the charger and the live end of the mains extension went into the bath.

Should definitely have a GFCI... and test those often!

Actually NOT having an outlet in the bathroom could be more dangerous, since that might lead to extension cord use, and would likely not have a GFCI.

I use hand held electronics in the bath, but normally take showers, which preclude their use. I would never use anything plugged in, though.
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Offline rfeecs

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Re: Is this really likely?
« Reply #26 on: July 12, 2017, 04:35:30 pm »
Still wouldn't explain why the safety breaker didn't work. So either it was faulty (checking is important), or missing entirely, in which case it was the homeowner's fault for having obviously dangerous electrical in the house.

Not at all unusual.  My house was built in 1956.  All the outlets are two prong with no ground wire running to the outlets.  The bathroom outlets were replaced with GFCIs.  But several outlets in the kitchen where just replaced with regular 3 prong outlets (not GFCI) with the grounds not connected!  :palm:  So yes, people do stupid things.

Several articles mention an extension cord:
http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/feds-looking-teen-s-reported-electrocution-cellphone-bathtub-n782011

Quote
Lovington police Detective Sgt. David Miranda told NBC News on Wednesday that a cellphone, a charging cord and an extension cord were found at the scene. He could not confirm if the phone had actually fallen into the bathtub or any other details related to the incident.

She could have grabbed the phone and pulled the extension cord and charger into the water.  Any number of things could have happened.
 

Offline Hensingler

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Re: Is this really likely?
« Reply #27 on: July 12, 2017, 04:39:51 pm »
The reporting and conclusions drawn from this event are appalling.

A cell phone charger with that kind of fault doesn't need a bathroom to kill you, it only helps. Hard to believe such a fault occurred while she was in the bath and evidence of such a fault would remain and was not mentioned in any report I saw.

IMO the most likely event was she leant over the side of the bath to plug the charger into an extension lead and touched the live pin on the crappy US mains plugs. A solid metallic contact with mains live and a good contact to earth through the bathwater and plumbing.

The conclusions to be drawn have nothing to do with phone use (which is about the only thing the crappy reporting talked about). They should have been on the value of GFIs and to be very careful plugging things into the mains while in the bath and preferably don't.
 

Offline rsjsouza

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Re: Is this really likely?
« Reply #28 on: July 18, 2017, 01:31:57 am »
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Offline timb

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Re: Is this really likely?
« Reply #29 on: July 18, 2017, 01:42:19 am »
Additional details about this sad story:
https://www.aol.com/article/news/2017/07/17/texas-teen-electrocuted-in-bathtub-final-text/23033903/

Ahah. So, she did use an extension cord and it was frayed. It wasn't the phone or charger at all.

I can only assume she plugged it into the hallway instead of a GFCI outlet in the bathroom (or it was an old house without GFCI outlets in the bath).

Very said.
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Offline rsjsouza

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Re: Is this really likely?
« Reply #30 on: July 18, 2017, 03:01:13 am »
Additional details about this sad story:
https://www.aol.com/article/news/2017/07/17/texas-teen-electrocuted-in-bathtub-final-text/23033903/

Ahah. So, she did use an extension cord and it was frayed. It wasn't the phone or charger at all.

I can only assume she plugged it into the hallway instead of a GFCI outlet in the bathroom (or it was an old house without GFCI outlets in the bath).

Very said.
Yes, it was an insulation problem indeed, but not from inside the charger.

Well, ultimately if one is really desperate for charging (which they shouldn't), perhaps use one of these portable chargers;D
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Oh, the "whys" of the datasheets... The information is there not to be an axiomatic truth, but instead each speck of data must be slowly inhaled while carefully performing a deep search inside oneself to find the true metaphysical sense...
 

Offline Cyberdragon

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Re: Is this really likely?
« Reply #31 on: July 18, 2017, 04:04:17 am »
This is not about phones or chargers. This is more about the safety hazards of mains electricity near grounded plumbing. There should be PSA about ensuring that you have ground fualt breakers near plumbing and make sure they pase safety inspection. This would have happened whether she was using a charger or any appliance, the fact is the house was either unsafe or she was stupid and bypassed the GFCI with another plug (a cord could have just been from the sink to the tub though). People need to be taught better or win the Darwin award!

SIDE NOTE: If you want to see the dangers of phone use, read the related article. :palm:
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Offline rsjsouza

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Re: Is this really likely?
« Reply #32 on: July 18, 2017, 02:06:19 pm »
This is not about phones or chargers.
It could have been. However, even without knowing any additional details people jumped to conclusions and made all this to be about chargers, crappy US plugs, etc. The opportunities to bash/rant are limitless.

This is more about the safety hazards of mains electricity near grounded plumbing. There should be PSA about ensuring that you have ground fualt breakers near plumbing and make sure they pase safety inspection. This would have happened whether she was using a charger or any appliance, the fact is the house was either unsafe or she was stupid and bypassed the GFCI with another plug (a cord could have just been from the sink to the tub though). People need to be taught better or win the Darwin award!
In the world of Youtube and DVRs, PSAs really don't work as well as they used to. Besides, IMO she had a hint of danger awareness by putting the connection in a dry towel, but forgot that mistakes happen when you are distracted, tired, in hazardous places, etc. Also, as far as we can tell from the tweet, she could have plugged the cord anywhere in the house, through GFCI or not.
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Oh, the "whys" of the datasheets... The information is there not to be an axiomatic truth, but instead each speck of data must be slowly inhaled while carefully performing a deep search inside oneself to find the true metaphysical sense...
 

Offline suicidaleggroll

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Re: Is this really likely?
« Reply #33 on: July 18, 2017, 04:01:04 pm »
It could have been. However, even without knowing any additional details people jumped to conclusions and made all this to be about chargers, crappy US plugs, etc. The opportunities to bash/rant are limitless.

Which is not unfounded, because it's not the first time somebody has been electrocuted from a crappy knockoff charger.  It might not have happened this time, but it's happened before and it'll continue to happen in this race to the bottom.
 

Offline rfeecs

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Re: Is this really likely?
« Reply #34 on: July 18, 2017, 05:08:12 pm »
Back to the original question:  Is it likely?

According to this report from US Consumer Product Safety Commission:
https://www.cpsc.gov/s3fs-public/2009electrocutions.pdf

Quote
Some of the key findings in this report:

• There was an estimated average of 70 electrocution fatalities associated with consumer
products per year over the 3-year period from 2007 through 2009, with an estimated 60
consumer product-related electrocutions in 2007, 50 in 2008, and 100 in 2009.


• The standardized age-adjusted death rate for electrocutions associated with consumer
product use was 0.199 per million population for 2007, 0.177 in 2008, and 0.308 in 2009.
The 3-year average from 2007 through 2009 is 0.228. Tests indicate that there is no
statistical evidence of a trend in the electrocution death rate from 2002 to 2009.

0.228 deaths per year per million population.

You are more likely to die from (...)  than by electrocution using a consumer product.
 

Offline rfeecs

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Re: Is this really likely?
« Reply #35 on: July 19, 2017, 06:49:32 pm »
Electroboom's take on it:

 

Offline Brumby

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Re: Is this really likely?
« Reply #36 on: July 20, 2017, 05:48:29 am »
Back to the original question:  Is it likely?
That is an impossible question to answer, since it can be qualified in several ways - and the definition of "likely" is unspecified.  I would tend to respond with something like: "It would be more likely in situations where people make no consideration of basic electrical safety."

This is much better...
Quote
You are more likely to die from (...)  than by electrocution using a consumer product.

... but it still has a high degree of "user influence" on the outcome probability.  Far more so than, say, the chances of dying in a plane crash.
 

Offline PA4TIM

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Re: Is this really likely?
« Reply #37 on: July 20, 2017, 06:30:22 am »
Darwin awards, here own fault etc, come on, this is a 14 year old, she does not deserve dead penalty for being not educated about the risks and GFCI etc. We have 230 socket in the bathroom and it is not a shaving outlet. I told my wife and son about the dangers and what not to do.

The problem is partly in the system, with all that over regulating and warning for everything, people stop thinking about safety and assume it it safe. It must be because it is not covered with stickers that say not to use it in bath.

Electronics is such a big thing today that schools should educate kids about electricity basics and safety.  What to do and what not, dangers etc. When I was young (60's) I was learned not to do stupid things like poke a screwdriver in a wall outlet. Instead we now try to make it impossible to do stupid things instead of teaching our kids to think about dangers.
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Offline blueskull

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Re: Is this really likely?
« Reply #38 on: July 20, 2017, 06:46:19 am »
Darwin awards, here own fault etc, come on, this is a 14 year old, she does not deserve dead penalty for being not educated about the risks and GFCI etc.

Instead we now try to make it impossible to do stupid things instead of teaching our kids to think about dangers.

You just answered your own concern. It's her or her family's fault for sure -- lack of education and awareness of safety.
She doesn't have to know what the f is GFCI. Common sense should have told her not to grab a wall plug with wet finger.
The recessed EU plug or sleeved UK plug may kinda prevent this, but human stupidity always wins over safety precautions.
 

Offline timb

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Re: Is this really likely?
« Reply #39 on: July 20, 2017, 11:08:41 pm »
Darwin awards, here own fault etc, come on, this is a 14 year old, she does not deserve dead penalty for being not educated about the risks and GFCI etc.

Instead we now try to make it impossible to do stupid things instead of teaching our kids to think about dangers.

You just answered your own concern. It's her or her family's fault for sure -- lack of education and awareness of safety.
She doesn't have to know what the f is GFCI. Common sense should have told her not to grab a wall plug with wet finger.
The recessed EU plug or sleeved UK plug may kinda prevent this, but human stupidity always wins over safety precautions.

She didn't grab a wall plug.

She grabbed an extension cord that was already plugged in. When I say extension cord, I mean one of those cheap brown, two prong cords designed for lamps, fans and other low current appliances. There's virtually no insulation to speak of (about as much as a standard US lamp cord) so it's not hard to knick or fray, exposing the copper. (Plus, it's hard to spot bare patches of copper on a brown colored cord, since they blend together so well).

That is unfortunately what happened here! The cord was frayed and she touched the exposed copper wire. She obviously was aware of the dangers of water and electricity, because she wrapped the head of the cord and charger in a towel, to keep it off the floor and dry. (There's even a picture of this that she tweeted minutes before she died.)

Read the articles that have been posted.

Anyway, teenagers are impulsive. They will always be impulsive. This will never change. I think quite a few of us did stupid stuff as teens and by all rights shouldn't be here today.
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic; e.g., Cheez Whiz, Hot Dogs and RF.
 
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Offline rsjsouza

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Re: Is this really likely?
« Reply #40 on: July 21, 2017, 01:04:14 am »
^^^^^^^^
Everything you said

Anyway, teenagers are impulsive. They will always be impulsive. This will never change. I think quite a few of us did stupid stuff as teens and by all rights shouldn't be here today.
Tell me about it. I still remember as a teenager when I grabbed a lamp socket + plug + cord + a standard carbon track 100k potentiometer to make my own dimmer without "all this Triac rubbish" (DaveTM). Soldered everything as it should and, with all connections exposed and holding the pot on my (bare) hands, I could only hear a ZZZZAAAAAP! when the pot reached perhaps 100~200 ohms. Threw the pot in the trash can and only told my parents years later... I almost turned myself into one more statistical datapoint.   :--
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Oh, the "whys" of the datasheets... The information is there not to be an axiomatic truth, but instead each speck of data must be slowly inhaled while carefully performing a deep search inside oneself to find the true metaphysical sense...
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Is this really likely?
« Reply #41 on: July 21, 2017, 01:37:34 am »
The cord was frayed and she touched the exposed copper wire.

Then her parents should be held responsible.
BTW, I didn't read the news. I made my assumption based on that ElectroBOOM video.

I think quite a few of us did stupid stuff as teens and by all rights shouldn't be here today.

I once found my way between terminals of a 33nF capacitor (3*100nF in series) charged to 30kV. The first and hopefully last time I got knocked down by electricity.
 

Offline ZeTeX

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Re: Is this really likely?
« Reply #42 on: July 21, 2017, 05:31:36 pm »
The cord was frayed and she touched the exposed copper wire.

Then her parents should be held responsible.
BTW, I didn't read the news. I made my assumption based on that ElectroBOOM video.

I think quite a few of us did stupid stuff as teens and by all rights shouldn't be here today.

I once found my way between terminals of a 33nF capacitor (3*100nF in series) charged to 30kV. The first and hopefully last time I got knocked down by electricity.
Why should her parents be held responsible?
They might have never noticed that the wire had a cut in it.
In my opinion, there is nothing really to blame.
shit happens.
 

Offline timb

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Is this really likely?
« Reply #43 on: July 22, 2017, 12:27:06 am »
^^^^^^^^
Everything you said

Anyway, teenagers are impulsive. They will always be impulsive. This will never change. I think quite a few of us did stupid stuff as teens and by all rights shouldn't be here today.
Tell me about it. I still remember as a teenager when I grabbed a lamp socket + plug + cord + a standard carbon track 100k potentiometer to make my own dimmer without "all this Triac rubbish" (DaveTM). Soldered everything as it should and, with all connections exposed and holding the pot on my (bare) hands, I could only hear a ZZZZAAAAAP! when the pot reached perhaps 100~200 ohms. Threw the pot in the trash can and only told my parents years later... I almost turned myself into one more statistical datapoint.   :--

Haha, I hear you!

When I was about 12 I decided to take apart a broken Polaroid Impulse camera. For whatever reason I decided to take it apart while sitting on my bed. Did I mention I had a bunk bed and slept on the top bunk? So, I managed to get the thing partially disassembled, down to the circuit board with the big ass flash capacitor exposed. Now, I *knew* those caps could be dangerous, but I wanted to see how the film eject mechanism worked. So, I inserted an empty film cartridge (the film packs contained batteries too) and hit the shutter a few times while observing the motors and gears.

Anyway, during my poking and prodding I must have touched one of the terminals on that flash capacitor, because I woke up on the floor, with blood running down my face and shattered camera parts all around me. Nearest I can figure, the shock caused me to instinctively push away, which unfortunately meant off the bed and a 6 foot drop. I think my head hit the edge of the dresser on the way down, causing the cut and loss of consciousness.

That's just one of the many stupid, dangerous things I did in my youth that nearly killed me. Honestly, it wasn't until my mid 20's that I started to realize I wasn't actually invincible.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2017, 10:46:05 pm by timb »
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Offline rsjsouza

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Re: Is this really likely?
« Reply #44 on: July 23, 2017, 01:49:56 am »
^^^^^^^^
Everything you said

Anyway, teenagers are impulsive. They will always be impulsive. This will never change. I think quite a few of us did stupid stuff as teens and by all rights shouldn't be here today.
Tell me about it. I still remember as a teenager when I grabbed a lamp socket + plug + cord + a standard carbon track 100k potentiometer to make my own dimmer without "all this Triac rubbish" (DaveTM). Soldered everything as it should and, with all connections exposed and holding the pot on my (bare) hands, I could only hear a ZZZZAAAAAP! when the pot reached perhaps 100~200 ohms. Threw the pot in the trash can and only told my parents years later... I almost turned myself into one more statistical datapoint.   :--

Haha, I hear you!

When I was about 12 I decided to take apart a broken Polaroid Impulse camera. For whatever reason I decided to take it apart while sitting on my bed. Did I mention I had a bunk bed and slept on the top bunk? So, I managed to get the thing partially disassembled down to circuit board, with the big ass flash capacitor exposed. Now, I *knew* those caps could be dangerous, but I wanted to see how the film eject mechanism worked. So, I inserted an empty film cartridge (the film packs contained batteries too) and hit the shutter a few times while observing the motors and gears.

Anyway, during my poking and prodding I must have touched one of the terminals on that flash capacitor, because I woke up on the floor, with a blood running down my face and shattered camera parts all around me. Nearest I can figure, the shock caused me to instinctively push away, which unfortunately meant off the bed and a 6 foot drop. I think my head hit the edge of the dresser on the way down, causing the cut and loss of consciousness.

That's just one of the many stupid, dangerous things I did in my youth that nearly killed me. Honestly, it wasn't until my mid 20's that I started to realize I wasn't actually invincible.
That's another thing forgotten by people: physical fatalities caused by electrical accidents are not uncommon.
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Oh, the "whys" of the datasheets... The information is there not to be an axiomatic truth, but instead each speck of data must be slowly inhaled while carefully performing a deep search inside oneself to find the true metaphysical sense...
 

Online Red Squirrel

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Re: Is this really likely?
« Reply #45 on: July 23, 2017, 04:21:58 am »
Seems to me it should be common sense to avoid electronic use in water by now.      Knowing enough about electricity we here can more or less figure what situations are safe (an isolated 5v adapter, or unplugged phone etc) but you would think the average person would know enough to just avoid it altogether.  Sadly not the case.

If anything I would not want to use my phone in the tub as I would not want to get it wet.   How long is a typical bath, less than an hour, can some people really not handle being without their phone for a short time like that? lol
 
 

Offline suicidaleggroll

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Re: Is this really likely?
« Reply #46 on: July 23, 2017, 12:34:09 pm »
Back to the original question:  Is it likely?

According to this report from US Consumer Product Safety Commission:
https://www.cpsc.gov/s3fs-public/2009electrocutions.pdf

0.228 deaths per year per million population.

You are more likely to die from (...)  than by electrocution using a consumer product.

You have to take that with a big grain of salt...Conditional Risk.  By raw numbers you're also more likely to die by getting eaten by a shark than by jumping out of a plane without a parachute.  That doesn't mean if you jump out of a plane without a parachute you'll be fine, it means that nobody does it because it's stupid.  I'd like to see what those electrocution numbers show when you calculate the percentage of deaths compared not to the entire US population, but to the number of people actively handling mains AC while in the bath.
 

Online CatalinaWOW

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Re: Is this really likely?
« Reply #47 on: July 23, 2017, 01:07:03 pm »
Good point on conditional risk, but you are asking for a number that is not available to my knowledge, and near impossible to obtain. 

Conditional risk works both ways.  This forum is full of people horrified by handheld meters with improperly marked CAT ratings.  Which generate no risk for the vast majority of users who don't use them for high energy circuits.

 

Offline RGB255_0_0

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Re: Is this really likely?
« Reply #48 on: August 08, 2017, 05:08:15 pm »
Try and watch this without cringing  :phew:

Your toaster just set fire to an African child over TCP.
 

Offline Zero999

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Re: Is this really likely?
« Reply #49 on: August 08, 2017, 09:51:00 pm »
For those who haven't seen the video, the phone and charger aren't guilty. She used an extension lead with a damaged cable, plugged into a non-GFCI socket, which caused her to be electrocuted.

On another note, I'm shocked that the US plugs don't have plastic guards at the top of the pins and that it's possible to get a nasty shock when removing them. I don't know about other countries but the UK plugs have had them since the mid 80s.
 


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