This year’s hottest craze, hoverboards, have been caught on camera across the country suddenly catching on fire. As 2016 begins, there have been 24 hoverboard fires reported to the Consumer Product Safety Commission in 17 states throughout the U.S. The fires occurred all across the country, from Washington State to Florida and New York City to Los Angeles.
The hoverboards, which look like Segway’s without a handle, are powered by batteries. These batteries appear to be the source of many hoverboard fires in the United States. Shortly after plugging in his hoverboard to charge for the very first time, a child in Louisiana watched as his hoverboard burst into flames and burned his family’s house to the ground. Before the child was able to alert anyone that the house was on fire, the middle part of the hoverboard exploded into flames and engulfed his bedroom within minutes.
In just the past week, two men from Los Angeles and Alabama filmed their hoverboards going up in smoke and exploding. The Los Angeles man was riding his hoverboard when it suddenly locked up and caught on fire. The man was thrown from his hoverboard but was not injured in the event that destroyed his $600 hoverboard. Hoverboard fires were also reported this week in Brooklyn, New York and in South Carolina. The teenager in South Carolina was finished charging his new hoverboard when the battery exploded, throwing the hoverboard over 20 feet across the living room of the house. The product ended up burning a chair and part of the carpet.
It is difficult to understand which hoverboard brands are safest because more than a half dozen companies sell them and most are manufactured in China. Consumers are being told to take the following precautions before buying hoverboards:
- Make sure you are buying the product from a reputable source
- Only buy the product if there is a warranty available
- Check to see if the product is UL (Underwriters Laboratories) listed
- Follow the instructions listed on the box extra carefully
- Use only the power chord provided and the batteries recommended in the directions
- Allow the hoverboard to cool down before attempting to recharge the battery
- Make sure to watch the hoverboard from a safe distance the entire time it is charging and keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case it burst into flames
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