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Title: Cell Phone Electrocution
Post by: Mike Sokol on July 10, 2017, 09:38:22 pm
Texas teen electrocuted after cell phone accidentally falls in bathtub

Amber Stegall
Jul 10, 2017 07:42 PM
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - A 14-year-old girl from Lubbock died early Sunday morning after being electrocuted in a bathtub.

Madison Coe's mother and grandmother tell us she was in the bathtub, and either plugged her phone in or simply grabbed her phone that was already plugged in. It happened at her father's house in Lovington, NM.

Madison just graduated 8th grade from Terra Vista Middle School in Frenship ISD. She was in the band, played basketball and was very bright.

"It is with heavy hearts that Frenship ISD mourns the loss of Madison Coe. We wish to share our heartfelt sympathy with her family and friends as we carry the burden of this tragedy together," said officials with FISD.

Madison was expected to attend high school in Houston, as her family was in the process of moving.

Her family wants to spread a message of awareness, and to teach children the power of electricity and to not plug your phones in near water.
Title: Re: Cell Phone Electrocution
Post by: Cailen Waddell on July 10, 2017, 10:19:27 pm
I feel like something must be missing in this story....  a USB charger in water shouldn't fail in such a way to pass that much electricity...  I wonder if something else was afoot


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Cell Phone Electrocution
Post by: Tim McCulloch on July 10, 2017, 10:44:20 pm
I'm not buying it, as written.  I don't think the phone would survive the lethal AC voltage if the charger malfunctioned.  I'm thinking it's more likely the little charger block was plugged into a power strip or extension cord and the whole thing got pulled into the tub.

Or did it have help getting there?   :-\
Title: Re: Cell Phone Electrocution
Post by: John Roberts {JR} on July 10, 2017, 10:54:22 pm
Yup a UL cell phone charger should not kill a 8th grader in the bathtub...

There was a chinese airline stewardess killed a couple years ago in the bath, by a fake apple I phone charger, but it wasn't agency approved. Apple even went so far as to trade people good new apple chargers for the killer knock-offs in china.

JR 
Title: Re: Cell Phone Electrocution
Post by: Mike Sokol on July 10, 2017, 11:31:40 pm
Yup a UL cell phone charger should not kill a 8th grader in the bathtub...

There was a chinese airline stewardess killed a couple years ago in the bath, by a fake apple I phone charger, but it wasn't agency approved. Apple even went so far as to trade people good new apple chargers for the killer knock-offs in china.

JR

The allowable leakage current from a non-grounded appliance is less than 0.7 mA, which is just below the threshold of feeling a shock and certainly not dangerous. But if there was an insulation failure inside the wall charger, either due to poor non-UL design, physical damage, or water inclusion, then that leakage current could reach lethal levels. Our first question should be why wasn't there a GFCI protected receptacle within reach of the bathtub? A properly operating GFCI would have saved her life.
Title: Re: Cell Phone Electrocution
Post by: Keith Broughton on July 11, 2017, 06:05:56 am
why wasn't there a GFCI protected receptacle within reach of the bathtub? A properly operating GFCI would have saved her life.
For the same reason people don't wear life vests and drown.
We have had 52 people drown in Ontario so far this year and 80% could have been avoided with  life vests.

"I hasn't happened before or can't happen to me"   ::)
Title: Re: Cell Phone Electrocution
Post by: Chris Hindle on July 11, 2017, 09:40:59 am
I'm not buying it, as written.  I don't think the phone would survive the lethal AC voltage if the charger malfunctioned.  I'm thinking it's more likely the little charger block was plugged into a power strip or extension cord and the whole thing got pulled into the tub.

Or did it have help getting there?   :-\
+1000  something else is going on.
A phone on the end of it's charging cable didn't do this.
Figure the kid reached in for the phone, with her other hand on the spout or valve for support. She was perfectly grounded, with the maximum effect on her heart. But, a USB charger?
If she was IN the full tub, the effect would have been more spread out.

We don't have the whole story, and a kid shouldn't have died playing with a phone.
Chris
Title: Re: Cell Phone Electrocution
Post by: David Allred on July 11, 2017, 12:08:00 pm
Somewhat related.  Interesting still.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcrY59nGxBg
Title: Re: Cell Phone Electrocution
Post by: Tim McCulloch on July 11, 2017, 12:49:47 pm
Somewhat related.  Interesting still.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcrY59nGxBg

The comments were enough to make me not watch the video.
Title: Re: Cell Phone Electrocution
Post by: David Allred on July 11, 2017, 02:07:48 pm
The comments were enough to make me not watch the video.

The comments made me want to watch it again.  :)
Title: Re: Cell Phone Electrocution
Post by: lindsay Dean on July 11, 2017, 02:28:16 pm
Here's my uninformed guess .
shes in the bathtub probably on the phone.
it starts going dead, she plugs into the charging port on
her phone, with wet hands plugs the wall wart in (with wet hands)
completes the circuit at the outlet.
Needless tragedy.
Title: Re: Cell Phone Electrocution
Post by: Stephen Swaffer on July 11, 2017, 04:43:21 pm
Yes its a USB charger-probably made as cheaply as possible.  If there is no GFCI, then the only thing standing between a person and the mains is the cheapest parts that can make it past QC (probably not even UL listed)-and if you have wet hands and are well grounded in a tub that is all that stands between you and a severe injury or death.

Who wants to take that bet?
Title: Re: Cell Phone Electrocution
Post by: John Roberts {JR} on July 11, 2017, 05:31:21 pm
I wasted a bunch of time and money trying to work with UL on another project so I can understand enthusiastic capitalists trying to FF to the market without safety approval but where are the lawyers... ? They haven't stopped chasing ambulances I suspect.

I recently bought a cheaper than dirt hot air rework station that didn't even pretend to be agency approved... my old one had CE marked on it that is also meaningless... new one nada..

I own stock in the company I ordered the hot air station from so I might inquire as to their opinions about selling non UL equipment in the US.  :o

JR
Title: Re: Cell Phone Electrocution
Post by: Jeff Bankston on July 11, 2017, 05:37:19 pm
My 12,14.4, and 18 volt Milwaukee power tool battery chargers have a warning label that state 120 volts could be present at the charger terminals. Just because something is very small doesnt mean high voltage isnt present. I have never seen a fone charger with a ground pin. Even if it was plugged into a power strip the strip would have a ground and if plugged into a GFCI would have tripped. But the tip of the charger would not have tripped the GFCI due to the lack of a ground. It says she might have grabbed her fone while charging or attempted to plug it in.
Title: Re: Cell Phone Electrocution
Post by: John Roberts {JR} on July 11, 2017, 06:12:22 pm
My 12,14.4, and 18 volt Milwaukee power tool battery chargers have a warning label that state 120 volts could be present at the charger terminals. Just because something is very small doesnt mean high voltage isnt present. I have never seen a fone charger with a ground pin. Even if it was plugged into a power strip the strip would have a ground and if plugged into a GFCI would have tripped. But the tip of the charger would not have tripped the GFCI due to the lack of a ground. It says she might have grabbed her fone while charging or attempted to plug it in.
Consumer products use double insulated power transformers so are generally safe.

JR
Title: Re: Cell Phone Electrocution
Post by: Jeff Bankston on July 11, 2017, 10:34:21 pm
The comments were enough to make me not watch the video.
The video is restricted. You have to be 18 and sign in which I think is not right. If you are old enough to plug something in you are old enough to see what happens if you are careless. We watched "Death On the Highway" in the 7th grade in pre permit driving class. In the 1970's in Mississippi you could get your permit at 14-1/2 years of age. I was taught when I was very little iirc 5yo about electrocution and hanging my arms out the window of a car and the hot stove burners,etc. I have seen what appears to be 5 and 6yo kids with smart fones or dummy smart fones. Children need to be taught at an early age and a video to see what happens will leave a lasting impression that electricity can kill and has killed.
Title: Re: Cell Phone Electrocution
Post by: Stephen Swaffer on July 11, 2017, 11:19:01 pm
My 12,14.4, and 18 volt Milwaukee power tool battery chargers have a warning label that state 120 volts could be present at the charger terminals. Just because something is very small doesnt mean high voltage isnt present. I have never seen a fone charger with a ground pin. Even if it was plugged into a power strip the strip would have a ground and if plugged into a GFCI would have tripped. But the tip of the charger would not have tripped the GFCI due to the lack of a ground. It says she might have grabbed her fone while charging or attempted to plug it in.

???  A GFCI does not require the device to have a ground pin to protect the user.  It simply compares current going out the hot wire to current returning on the neutral-a mismatch trips it.  So if > 5 mA goes anywhere but back through the neutral it trips.

Title: Re: Cell Phone Electrocution
Post by: Jeff Bankston on July 12, 2017, 05:01:27 am
???  A GFCI does not require the device to have a ground pin to protect the user.  It simply compares current going out the hot wire to current returning on the neutral-a mismatch trips it.  So if > 5 mA goes anywhere but back through the neutral it trips.
that was a brain fart on my part.
Title: Re: Cell Phone Electrocution
Post by: Mike Sokol on July 12, 2017, 07:07:59 am
???  A GFCI does not require the device to have a ground pin to protect the user.  It simply compares current going out the hot wire to current returning on the neutral-a mismatch trips it.  So if > 5 mA goes anywhere but back through the neutral it trips.

That's correct. Here's a few graphics I drew to explain the sensing current path of a GFCI.
Title: Re: Cell Phone Electrocution
Post by: Mike Sokol on July 12, 2017, 08:56:22 am
Here's my uninformed guess .
shes in the bathtub probably on the phone.
it starts going dead, she plugs into the charging port on
her phone, with wet hands plugs the wall wart in (with wet hands)
completes the circuit at the outlet.
Needless tragedy.

I've contacted the reporter at KCBD to see if I can get an interview with the local electrical inspector. Perhaps they know a little more than was presented in the story.
Title: Re: Cell Phone Electrocution
Post by: Dennis Wiggins on July 12, 2017, 12:02:28 pm

...she was in the bathtub, and either plugged her phone in or simply grabbed her phone that was already plugged in.

With respect to the deceased and the family, I have kept quiet on this thread.  However, parents and teachers need to be reminded of this.

Children should be taught that they should NEVER put any electrical wire, or any device attached to an electrical wire, into a bathtub, shower, or pool. 

-Dennis
Title: Re: Cell Phone Electrocution
Post by: Mike Sokol on July 12, 2017, 12:15:15 pm
With respect to the deceased and the family, I have kept quiet on this thread.  However, parents and teachers need to be reminded of this.
-Dennis

"Her family wants to spread a message of awareness, and to teach children the power of electricity and to not plug your phones in near water."

In this particular case, the parents of the deceased girl have asked everyone to spread the warning about touching anything plugged into an electrical outlet while you're around water. So feel free to post this safety information everywhere you can.
Title: Re: Cell Phone Electrocution
Post by: David Allred on July 12, 2017, 12:29:49 pm
"Her family wants to spread a message of awareness, and to teach children the power of electricity and to not plug your phones in near water."

In this particular case, the parents of the deceased girl have asked everyone to spread the warning about touching anything plugged into an electrical outlet while you're around water. So feel free to post this safety information everywhere you can.

I think Dennis may have been referring to placing blame in a disrespectful manner that would be hurtful to the family.  A la Dan Akroyd's "Point / Counter Point" response to Jane Curtain.  I can see that.
Title: Re: Cell Phone Electrocution
Post by: Mike Sokol on July 18, 2017, 04:17:07 pm
And this is why you shouldn't buy a "cheap" cell phone charger.

http://www.righto.com/2014/05/a-look-inside-ipad-chargers-pricey.html
Title: Re: Cell Phone Electrocution
Post by: David Buckley on July 18, 2017, 05:16:50 pm
Just an update on the original story; I read somewhere that they have now officially confirmed the charger was on an extension cable, and that is what ended up in the tub.
Title: Re: Cell Phone Electrocution
Post by: Lyle Williams on July 18, 2017, 05:22:14 pm
https://au.news.yahoo.com/a/36404409/texas-teen-electrocuted-by-phone-in-bath-last-text-message/#page1
Title: Re: Cell Phone Electrocution
Post by: Keith Broughton on July 18, 2017, 05:26:04 pm
I suppose I am optimistic in thinking we were well past the point of figuring out electricity and water don't mix.
It's a sad state of affairs when one can't be away from a phone long enough to take a bath...
Title: Re: Cell Phone Electrocution
Post by: Don T. Williams on July 18, 2017, 05:40:41 pm
I am located 18 miles from where this tragic event occurred, so it has been in the local paper daily.  Though no official cause of death has been issued, it was confirmed that the young lady was using an extension cord to plug in her charger.  She even sent a picture of the charger plugged into the cord to her friend.  She may have pulled the extension cord into the bath tub. It was a fatal mistake.

I don't have information on whether the extension cord was plugged into a GFI outlet or not.  If I understand correctly, even though this was not a business, OSHA and other Federal agencies have investigated the accident.

Our hearts go out to her family and friends.
Title: Re: Cell Phone Electrocution
Post by: Tim McCulloch on July 18, 2017, 11:17:27 pm
Just an update on the original story; I read somewhere that they have now officially confirmed the charger was on an extension cable, and that is what ended up in the tub.

Sometimes my Digital Crystal Ball is right, and too often it's when the news is bad.

{soap box engaged}

These kinds of incidents are why various Codes, Standards, and Regulations exist and why it frustrates me to see our local builders associations oppose adoption of NFPA 70 Codes that might increase the price of a new home by less than 0.5%.  Considering that here $200K will buy you a new home in a decent neighborhood, we're not talking huge sums but they have the elected officials convinced that new home sales would evaporate.

{/soap box}

My home is getting a significant electrical upgrade/update soon and safety is driving reason - the nouns "FPE" and "Zinsco".  Both in the same house.  At least the existing wiring is all copper....
Title: Re: Cell Phone Electrocution
Post by: John Roberts {JR} on July 19, 2017, 09:18:37 am
Even I put a GFCI outlet in my bathroom and kitchen (and laundry room).

JR 
Title: Re: Cell Phone Electrocution
Post by: Dennis Wiggins on July 19, 2017, 09:39:09 am
https://au.news.yahoo.com/a/36404409/texas-teen-electrocuted-by-phone-in-bath-last-text-message/#page1

This may be a stupid question. 

Can the use of an ungrounded 2-wire extension cord trip a GFCI?

-Dennis
Title: Re: Cell Phone Electrocution
Post by: Luke Mester on July 19, 2017, 11:29:49 am
Can the use of an ungrounded 2-wire extension cord trip a GFCI?

If the bathtub uses metal pipes, then yes, because they would provide an alternative path. If plastic pipes, then you could toss a 2-wire extension cord in a tub and the GFCI would not trip. I'm not sure if there's a significant risk of electrocution in that scenario or not.
Title: Re: Cell Phone Electrocution
Post by: Daniel Levi on July 19, 2017, 11:31:50 am
This may be a stupid question. 

Can the use of an ungrounded 2-wire extension cord trip a GFCI?

-Dennis

Yes, remember most garden equipment (at least at consumer level) is ungrounded and that is the major market for RCD plugin adaptors. The distribution board units are essentially the same.
Title: Re: Cell Phone Electrocution
Post by: John Roberts {JR} on July 19, 2017, 11:35:09 am
This may be a stupid question. 

Can the use of an ungrounded 2-wire extension cord trip a GFCI?

-Dennis
GFCI does not care about ground... If the current leaving does not exactly equal the current returning (by 5mA) it trips and disconnects power.

JR
Title: Re: Cell Phone Electrocution
Post by: John Roberts {JR} on July 19, 2017, 11:39:55 am
If the bathtub uses metal pipes, then yes, because they would provide an alternative path. If plastic pipes, then you could toss a 2-wire extension cord in a tub and the GFCI would not trip. I'm not sure if there's a significant risk of electrocution in that scenario or not.
You might get away with that using pure water, but if it is contaminated with salts or acid, it will conduct and if low enough impedance trip the breaker from current draw between line and neutral in the extension cord.

My water was dirty enough (rust colored) when my heater failed, that I felt voltage when I stuck my finger into the hot water coming from the faucet...  :o

JR
Title: Re: Cell Phone Electrocution
Post by: Dennis Wiggins on July 19, 2017, 12:38:25 pm
GFCI does not care about ground... If the current leaving does not exactly equal the current returning (by 5mA) it trips and disconnects power.

JR

I appreciate your explanation.  Now that I knew what to look for, I found this Wiki explanation.

"A GFCI works by measuring the current leaving one side of a power source (the so-called "live" or "hot wire"), and comparing it to current returning on the other (the "neutral" side). If they are not equal, then some of the current must be leaking in an unwanted way, and the GFCI shuts the power off."

Silly me; I thought that it had something to do with the GROUND wire!   :-[

-Dennis
Title: Re: Cell Phone Electrocution
Post by: John Roberts {JR} on July 19, 2017, 12:47:28 pm
I appreciate your explanation.  Now that I knew what to look for, I found this Wiki explanation.

"A GFCI works by measuring the current leaving one side of a power source (the so-called "live" or "hot wire"), and comparing it to current returning on the other (the "neutral" side). If they are not equal, then some of the current must be leaking in an unwanted way, and the GFCI shuts the power off."

Silly me; I thought that it had something to do with the GROUND wire!   :-[

-Dennis
There is a separate class of protection devices that measures current leaking into a line cord ground. (I haven't seen them used with consumer gear, most of which no longer even use grounds).

When I designed my super safe muso protector, I not only included GFCI, but I had a secondary circuit that would disconnect if it measured more than 5 mA flowing in the ground lead, since a backline GFCI will not prevent a shock hazard coming from an energized FOH console ground.

Of course a GFCI on both FOH and Back line will be adequately protective (and cheaper than my exotic gadget).

JR
Title: Re: Cell Phone Electrocution
Post by: David Allred on July 19, 2017, 02:34:17 pm


Silly me; I thought that it had something to do with the GROUND wire!   :-[

-Dennis

Silly nomenclature.  Everyone knows that it should be a GTFMDFCI.  "Greater Than 5 Millivolts Differential Fault Circuit Interrupter".  ::)
Title: Re: Cell Phone Electrocution
Post by: David Allred on July 19, 2017, 03:32:11 pm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Dd6_TghcE0

Discusses possible causes then updates with actual report from family.
Title: Re: Cell Phone Electrocution
Post by: Lyle Williams on July 19, 2017, 05:30:04 pm
I have great respect for the family going public with the picture.

A dreadful time for them, but the safety lesson will now be learned by many more.
Title: Re: Cell Phone Electrocution
Post by: Jonathan Johnson on July 21, 2017, 03:38:20 pm
If the bathtub uses metal pipes, then yes, because they would provide an alternative path. If plastic pipes, then you could toss a 2-wire extension cord in a tub and the GFCI would not trip. I'm not sure if there's a significant risk of electrocution in that scenario or not.

Plastic pipes are no guarantee of safety. Most water supplies are contaminated with some kind of ions that will make the water itself conductive.

Even plastic drain pipes that are "empty" of water will have a damp sludge buildup coating the inside of the pipe. That sludge may be conductive.
Title: Re: Cell Phone Electrocution
Post by: Speed Daemon on July 28, 2017, 06:38:50 pm
I am located 18 miles from where this tragic event occurred, so it has been in the local paper daily.  Though no official cause of death has been issued, it was confirmed that the young lady was using an extension cord to plug in her charger.  She even sent a picture of the charger plugged into the cord to her friend.  She may have pulled the extension cord into the bath tub. It was a fatal mistake.

I don't have information on whether the extension cord was plugged into a GFI outlet or not.  If I understand correctly, even though this was not a business, OSHA and other Federal agencies have investigated the accident.

Our hearts go out to her family and friends.
That was the news here in Albuquerque (KOAT or KRQE) too. And for the record, my house was purchased in 2016 (after passing an electrical inspection) with no GFCI devices whatsoever in the house, but several wiring faults that I later discovered.

It's a sad fact that a layperson's understanding of electricity tends to lie at less-than-useful extremes. I know people who wouldn't operate an insulated wall switch while carrying an otherwise dry glass of distilled water, because of a mostly unfounded fear. At the other end, some don't even think of potential dangers.

Is a parent to blame for not knowing enough about electricity? I don't know. Perhaps those of us who make it our business to know more need to up our game, and make it our business to teach the laypeople in our lives basic safety rules, and encourage them to pass that good info along.
Title: Re: Cell Phone Electrocution
Post by: Tim McCulloch on July 28, 2017, 06:45:47 pm
That was the news here in Albuquerque (KOAT or KRQE) too. And for the record, my house was purchased in 2016 (after passing an electrical inspection) with no GFCI devices whatsoever in the house, but several wiring faults that I later discovered.

It's a sad fact that a layperson's understanding of electricity tends to lie at less-than-useful extremes. I know people who wouldn't operate an insulated wall switch while carrying an otherwise dry glass of distilled water, because of a mostly unfounded fear. At the other end, some don't even think of potential dangers.

Is a parent to blame for not knowing enough about electricity? I don't know. Perhaps those of us who make it our business to know more need to up our game, and make it our business to teach the laypeople in our lives basic safety rules, and encourage them to pass that good info along.

I'm not into victim blaming as way to pass the time but recent events make me wonder how a person can live as a part of the modern world and not know that combining mains AC with water and humans is a Really Bad Thing.

Partly I think that the relative level of electrical safety that has been achieved over the last 100 years has led to complacency - you don't know what you don't need to know - and that the rarity of domestic electrocution deaths means few have heard of or been witness to such things.
Title: Re: Cell Phone Electrocution
Post by: Stephen Swaffer on July 28, 2017, 07:17:07 pm
Keep in mind that inspectors are human-and vary in knowledge and in the zeal with which they apply that knowledge to their job.  Just like a sound guy can't please everyone-they can't always get the balance of the letter of the law and common sense just right for everyone.  Also, many are hired by people who have no clue and can only judge an inspector's skill by the license he holds-which guarantees little.  From my POV (as a contractor) they are mainly a way to level the playing field-and maybe provide me with a little bit of a shield because they approved my work-I wouldn't take their thumbs up as a sign of job well done.

It seems like the safer we require things to be, the more people expect and rely on "them" to keep them safe.  How often do you hear, "why didn't they......"? Who's they?  I supervise 3 young guys in an industrial maintenance setting.  The one with the most training (he serves in the National Guard & as a volunteer firefighter) is the one I have the hardest time getting to follow safety rules.  He knows better, but "knows" it'll never happen to him.

Victim bashing is uncalled for-I feel bad for the family.  I have never lost a child so I cannot imagine how that feels.  On the other hand, being honest and candid is the only way for anything positive to come from this-or any- tragedy.
Title: Re: Cell Phone Electrocution
Post by: Speed Daemon on July 28, 2017, 08:04:53 pm
I'm not into victim blaming as way to pass the time but recent events make me wonder how a person can live as a part of the modern world and not know that combining mains AC with water and humans is a Really Bad Thing.

Partly I think that the relative level of electrical safety that has been achieved over the last 100 years has led to complacency - you don't know what you don't need to know - and that the rarity of domestic electrocution deaths means few have heard of or been witness to such things.
I hear you, Tim! My first logical impulse was "the parents are responsible for their children, so..." All too easy to judge when you're the one with the answers in hindsight. But when I had those facts drilled into my head, every phone had a cord and most TV sets were connected to a rooftop aerial. Every time an electrical storm came, our parents told us to stay away from phones, light switches and even windows. And if not our parents, the local TV weatherman came to our school every year to deliver the same message. I also had a couple of friends whose dads were amateur radio operators; those dads could talk for hours about electrical safety.

Today most public schools haven't had the budget for much more than the "three R's" since that girl's parents were kids. And now most homes don't have a wireline phone, and the TV comes in from a buried cable, not the roof. Electricity still comes in the same way, but as you noted, it's the lone exception in a cordless world. Many people don't know that their cellphones use radios because they don't need to know that to use them. And neighborhood experts like radio hams are all but gone.

I'd say that the institutions that used to keep people aware and alert are going away, and no new ones are filling that need. What's worse, everyone is so busy these days, I wonder if it's even possible to find the time to fill gaps like this. Looks like a lost cause, but not a good reason to give up.
Title: Re: Cell Phone Electrocution
Post by: Erik Jerde on July 29, 2017, 12:45:33 am
Keep in mind that inspectors are human-and vary in knowledge and in the zeal with which they apply that knowledge to their job.  Just like a sound guy can't please everyone-they can't always get the balance of the letter of the law and common sense just right for everyone.  Also, many are hired by people who have no clue and can only judge an inspector's skill by the license he holds-which guarantees little.  From my POV (as a contractor) they are mainly a way to level the playing field-and maybe provide me with a little bit of a shield because they approved my work-I wouldn't take their thumbs up as a sign of job well done.

It seems like the safer we require things to be, the more people expect and rely on "them" to keep them safe.  How often do you hear, "why didn't they......"? Who's they?  I supervise 3 young guys in an industrial maintenance setting.  The one with the most training (he serves in the National Guard & as a volunteer firefighter) is the one I have the hardest time getting to follow safety rules.  He knows better, but "knows" it'll never happen to him.

Victim bashing is uncalled for-I feel bad for the family.  I have never lost a child so I cannot imagine how that feels.  On the other hand, being honest and candid is the only way for anything positive to come from this-or any- tragedy.

Municipal inspection means very little.  Based on my experiences being inspected if you do things in a workman-like-manner the inspector will spend very little time looking at it.  I've never once even been asked about conductor de-rating, conduit fill, box fill, devices per ckt, etc.  The last inspection I had the inspector didn't want to climb up the ladder into the attic (can't blame him) so I just told him what he did and he signed off.

On facebook I follow a local home inspection company (buyers inspections, not muni).  It's remarkable the kinds of things this company comes across, even on new construction fully inspected properties.  Simple, easy to catch things like adequate insulation in attics.  If anyone's interested, look up structuretech.

It's also important to keep in mind that NEC and all the other various codes represent minimum safety standards.  There's lots of ways to go above and beyond what code requires. 

No disrespect to muni inspectors, they're doing the job they were hired for and are paid to do.  With how little I pay for an electrical permit they don't have anywhere close to time to look at everything and still keep the bills paid.