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#171646 - 12/02/07 01:34 PM Child Electrocuted In Bathtub  
InspectorE  Offline
Member
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 51
Hudson WI USA
This is from the Saint Paul Pioneer Press for December 1. A young life was extinguished due to the lack of a $10 GFI.

======================================================
The death of a 6-year-old Hudson girl in a bathtub offers a sad lesson about the dangers of using electrical appliances near water, officials say.

Chelsea Joe "Princess" Helland was found with a hair dryer in the water-filled tub, and a medical examiner's report shows a high probability she died from electrocution, said interim Police Chief Eric Atkinson.

Emergency personnel responded to the apartment complex about 7 p.m. Sunday.

According to police, the mother told officers the girl and her 2-year-old sister were in the tub when the mother briefly left the room. When she saw the toddler was out, she went to check on the other girl and found her unresponsive in the bathtub with the hair dryer.

The mother, her boyfriend, paramedics and police officers tried to revive the girl, but she was pronounced dead at Hudson Hospital.

Atkinson said he thinks a ground fault circuit interrupter installed in the outlet or contained in the dryer would have prevented the tragedy.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, a GFCI in a home wiring system constantly monitors the flow of electricity and instantly switches off power if there is any loss of current. That can prevent a person from getting a lethal jolt.

"I believe that if there would have been a GFCI outlet or mini-GFCI in the hair dryer, we wouldn't be where we are today," Atkinson said.

The girl's funeral was Friday in White Bear Lake.


===================================================


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#171655 - 12/02/07 08:23 PM Re: Child Electrocuted In Bathtub [Re: InspectorE]  
resqcapt19  Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,148
IL
If the tub has no metallic connection to anything, a GFCI may not prevent this type of tragedy. Some hair dryers have Immersion-detector circuit interrupters (IDCIs) which can prevent this type of accident.


Don(resqcapt19)

#171656 - 12/02/07 08:43 PM Re: Child Electrocuted In Bathtub [Re: resqcapt19]  
leland  Offline
Member
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 853
Lowell area, Ma. USA
A very sad tragic event surely. What could one do to prevent it?
Was this a rental? Trivial I know ,after a loss such as this.
Are the authorities to inspect rentals before each change of hands? Annual house inspections? Make all safety changes,AS important as GFCI retroactive?
I have not the answer,But thought Ideas may be out there.



#171657 - 12/02/07 08:44 PM Re: Child Electrocuted In Bathtub [Re: resqcapt19]  
Retired_Helper  Offline
Member
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 165
Maine
Originally Posted by resqcapt19
... Some hair dryers have Immersion-detector circuit interrupters (IDCIs) which can prevent this type of accident.

I was going to say, whatever happened to IDCI's? There was a lot of talk about them at one point. Now I never hear about them. Am I just out of touch (which is entirely possible)? confused


#171658 - 12/02/07 08:47 PM Re: Child Electrocuted In Bathtub [Re: resqcapt19]  
gfretwell  Offline


Member
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,135
Estero,Fl,usa
Have you ever seen Joe Tedesco's videos of hotel hair dryers motor boating around in the sink. It is clear immersion detectors don't always work.

It is also clear he gets bored on the road wink


Greg Fretwell

#171659 - 12/02/07 08:50 PM Re: Child Electrocuted In Bathtub [Re: gfretwell]  
frenchelectrican  Offline
Member
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 939
Wi/ Paris France { France for ...
Dang Greg ya beat me i was just about ready to reply that comment related to Joe Tedesco testing the hair dryer i think he did took a veido of it.


i am not sure if he left a link somewhere in this forum or other forum iam not sure excat location is.

Merci , Marc


Pas de problme,il marche n'est-ce pas?"(No problem, it works doesn't it?)


#171669 - 12/02/07 10:47 PM Re: Child Electrocuted In Bathtub [Re: frenchelectrican]  
resqcapt19  Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,148
IL
Greg,
Quote
It is clear immersion detectors don't always work.

Not really...the device is in the handle and it was not under water.
Don


Don(resqcapt19)

#171671 - 12/02/07 11:23 PM Re: Child Electrocuted In Bathtub [Re: resqcapt19]  
SP4RX  Offline
Member
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 56
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada...eh
I'm torn on this one. I really want to rip into the manufacturer for installing a safety device that requires a specific circumstance for the so-called immersion detector to work, i.e. the handle must be in the water for the device to work. On the other hand I realize that we can't protect everyone, everywhere from everything that could possibly go wrong.

One would think that an electric device that is labeled as having a certain protective mechanism could be relied upon to protect you in your time of need.

It's a tragedy what happened to this girl and her family and I can only hope that manufacturers have another look at how these immersion detectors are designed and installed.


Shawn.


#171675 - 12/03/07 01:32 AM Re: Child Electrocuted In Bathtub [Re: SP4RX]  
gfretwell  Offline


Member
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,135
Estero,Fl,usa
Don, the ones I have taken apart have a metal ring in the nozzle that connects to the 3d wire in the cord that hits the immersion detector.


Greg Fretwell

#171680 - 12/03/07 07:27 AM Re: Child Electrocuted In Bathtub [Re: gfretwell]  
resqcapt19  Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,148
IL
Greg,
I guess there are different designs. Another issue is that immersion detectors are not required. The manufacturer can use GFCIs or appliance leakage circuit interrupters. The only one that will provide protection when there is no grounding path in the water in the immersion detector.
Don


Don(resqcapt19)

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