Those non-hovering ‘Hoverboards’ you see rolling around the streets, malls, stores, schools and pretty much everywhere these days are trendy gifts this holiday season — but be careful! There are numerous reports of them catching on fire and bursting into flames.
— London Fire Brigade (@LondonFire) November 2, 2015
Jessica Horne, the mother of a 12-year-old boy in Lafitte, Louisiana, said she saw flames shoot out of both ends of her son’s hoverboard when charging its lithium battery with the charger that she said came with the hoverboard. Horne said she believes the board was responsible for setting her house on fire.
“Both wheels, it was like a firework. I saw sparks flying and before I could yell, ‘The house is on the fire!’ the middle part of the board that would go in between your feet — it just went ‘poof!'” she told ABC affiliate WGNO.
Local authorities are investigating the cause of the fire. However, it’s not the first time that someone has alleged that a hoverboard is a potential a fire hazard. Last month, the London Fire Brigade in the United Kingdom issued a warning about charging dangers with hoverboards.
“Another hoverboard blaze this time in #Kent. We’re warning about the charging dangers,” the London Fire Brigade said in a tweet on Nov. 2.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission said it has received eight reports over the past three months regarding hoverboard-related injuries — not necessarily related to fire-related causes — being treated in the emergency room. YouTube is also full of videos showing “hoverboard fails” from users who have experienced some funny — and some scary — wipeouts while balancing on the boards.
While some of these reports may sound scary, a reputable retailer should be able to provide a clear instruction booklet on how to properly use and charge the hoverboard.
To stay safe, experts recommend wearing a helmet, wrist and knee guards. Balancing can be tricky — beginners can also ask a friend or family member to help spot them as they get the hang of the hoverboard.
If you think this is an isolated incident — think again. Check out these clips of exploding boards all over YouTube.