Safety tip for phones

It used to be that you had to keep devices like smartphones or tablets as far away from water as possible.  A hard rain storm could ruin your $700 phone.

These days with a number of waterproof phones and tablets on the market, your device might easily survive a dunk in the toilet, sink, or tub. People are less cautious about taking them near water.  Amazon’s got a new waterproof eReader that seems like the perfect device for reading in the bath.

But I do want to remind you one safety issue.  If you have a cellphone or tablet plugged into a charger, do not take it with you to the bath, the hot tub, or the pool.  Don’t leave it next to the sink while you’re doing dishes.  A phone or tablet running on battery power alone isn’t going to shock you if you drop it into water. Plugged into a wall, it’s a different and possibly lethal story.

You might think, “everyone knows that.”  But sadly, that’s no the case. A teenage girl was electrocuted over the summer when a cell phone plugged into the charger fell into her bathtub.

The poor girl even took a photo of her set-up to power the phone and posted it on social media shortly before her death.


Since streaming media or video chatting can take up a lot of power, people often plug in phones or tablets for those activities. But a bump of the elbow or the leap of a cat or dog is all it takes for a tablet or phone with a cord attached to fall into a tub or the sink where you’re doing dishes.  If you need to plug a device in for listening to music or watching video, set it across the room from the water.  Or better yet, just charge it first, so it’s not a problem.

These days, a lot of people, especially kids, don’t want to put their phone down for anything. Running out of power is considered a tragedy. But don’t let them turn it into an actual tragedy. Make sure the phone-addicted young folks in your life are aware of the basic safety rules. And make sure you set a good example.

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