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Dangers of Hoverboards

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Posted on September 20, 2016

Hoverboards, or Segways without a stick, are quickly becoming the most sought after item for teenagers and young adults. These electronic skateboards are the newest trend in transportation for the young and young at heart. The idea of the Hoverboard was first introduced in the movie Back to the Future Part II and, true to predictions made in the film, Hoverboards have hit the streets this year in more ways than one.

Unfortunately, as with a lot of new products being massed produced by several companies to meet demand, there are problems. Aside from emergency room visits due to broken bones, cuts, scrapes and other injuries, several of the units have erupted into flames while being used and charged. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, a total of six fires and almost 30 emergency room visits relating to the Hoverboard have been reported.

Hoverboards Erupting in Flames Concern Consumers

A Hoverboard catching on fire brings a whole new level of concern to consumers. Cell phones, rechargeable electronics and even common household appliances such as toasters have been identified as fire hazards and consumers have been warned to proceed with caution when using or charging these units. Hoverboards erupting in flames, being caught on camera and uploaded to social media sites have sparked the interest of several consumer watch groups and concerned consumers as well.

In one incident, a Hoverboard burst into flames in a mall in Washington State, while another caught fire in Alabama while being ridden. A Hoverboard battery is being blamed for a fire in a New York City home and another home in Louisiana burned to the ground when a charging Hoverboard caught fire. In another incident, a video from a Florida man went viral when he taped his Hoverboard erupting into flames, melting and then finally exploding in his driveway.

Helmets, knee pads and arm guards can help protect Hoverboard users from minor injuries, but serious burns and life-threatening injuries resulting from exploding Hoverboards leave many contemplating whether or not to purchase a unit. Manufacturers from China are pushing production to meet holiday demands for the Hoverboards, but is safety being compromised in the process?

What to Watch Out for When Buying a Hoverboard

Most recently, holiday wish lists with requests for a Hoverboard were considered by many parents, grandparents and other friends and relatives eager to fill the wishes of their loved ones. Not only are Hoverboards fun to ride, but they are also a good form of exercise as strong leg muscles and balancing skills are developed. So for those brave enough to take a chance on this new technology, here are some safety tips to help you enjoy this new toy:

  • Buy your Hoverboard from a reputable dealer that offers a warranty on your product.
  • Be sure that the unit meets fire and safety standards.
  • Only use chargers with UL listed chords since they must meet higher U.S. safety standards.
  • As with any electronic unit, care should be taken to ensure that wires and electric components associated with the unit are in good shape without frayed or exposed wiring.
  • Always supervise units while charging and never leave them plugged in overnight.
  • Be sure that children are not entrusted with the task of recharging units to avoid serious burns or injury.
  • Read all manufacturer instructions and precautions before using the unit.
  • Always allow the Hoverboard to cool down before charging and while using the equipment.
  • Do not exceed the necessary charging time. When the unit is fully charged, unplug it and do not recharge it until power is depleted.

New Jersey product liability lawyers say that following the recommended safety precautions will ensure that you can enjoy your Hoverboard safely and protect yourself and your home from fire. Be sure to report any and all overheating or fire incidents to the Consumer Product Safety Commission to assist them in their current investigations.