( 4UMF NEWS ) Hoverboards Blowing Up In UK And US:
There’s a reason why hoverboards are the hottest holiday present of the year — they explode, US and UK officials warned.
Both the National Association of State Fire Marshals and the UK’s National Trading Standards are raising a red flag on hoverboards, claiming that they are blowing up across the world.
The national Fire Marshals organization issued an advisory on Friday, warning that these explosions are “not a unique occurrence,” H. Butch Browning Jr., the president of the group’s Board of Directors said in a statement.
“The sheer number of incidents occurring around the country, and abroad, is what prompted our organization to address this serious issue on a national level,” he said.
The UK’s National Trading Standards seized more than 15,000 hoverboards since Oct. 15 after finding them a major safety risk. Of the 17,000 hoverboards inspected, the organization said an alarming 88% of these devices had an increased risk of “overheating, exploding or catching fire” because of faulty plugs.
“Consumers should not let a new fashion or craze cloud their judgment and remain vigilant at all times, to avoid taking home an unsafe product,” Leon Livermore, the chief executive of Charted Trading Standards Institute said in a statement.
The explosive hoverboards are typically from cheap knockoff companies, both organizations said. The UK’s board warned that criminals would be flooding the market with shoddy versions of the toy, knowing that there was a high-demand for hoverboards during the holiday season.
There were several documented cases of the self-balancing scooters bursting into flames in recent weeks, all with hoverboards in various price ranges.
A Louisiana family lost their home a day after 12-year-old Hayden Carbo got a FitTurbo hoverboard for his birthday. The toy exploded and burned the boy’s bedroom and home to a crisp.
“It was like a firework. I saw sparks just flying and before I could yell, the house is on fire,” his mother, Jessica Horne said.
On Nov. 29, Timothy Cade, of Alabama, had his $500 hoverboard for just three days when he recorded it burning and smoking.
“Batteries started shooting out of it; you would not expect a fire like that to come out of a little thing like that,” he told WKRG.
On Nov. 28, an 11-year-old Florida girl barely escaped being burned while riding the explosive $300 toy. “She felt it get hot, she jumped off, and it was in flames,” Pamela Levine, the girl’s mother, told KSHB.
Michael Lasalle, the assistant chief of the Boca Raton Fire Rescue, said parents should make sure the hoverboards are UL approved before buying them.
The Fire Marshal association urged users to take precautions when it came to charging the devices, which is the primary cause of the explosions.