Hoverboard Fires And Injuries Prompt CPSC To Investigate The Dangers Of This Years Hottest Toy
Hoverboard fires and injuries have been the subject of many news stories after the number of reports have risen 25 percent over recent days. After a wrapped hoverboard burned down a home, airliners banning the electric skateboard and one battery operated hoverboard igniting in a shopping mall, a new concern has prompted The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to investigate. The agency is now looking into 10 hoverboard-related fires that occurred in Texas, Ohio, New York, Florida, Alabama, Maryland, California, and Washington. The cause is believed to be the lithium batteries used int he hoverboards, but the CPSC has begun testing on several models and makes of hoverboards to determine the actual cause of the fires.
In addition to hoverboard fires, another concern is the potential for serious hoverboard injuries. According to the CPSC, over 30 hoverboard injuries have been reported to the organization within the last three weeks that resulted in visits to the emergency room. According to the CPSC, the most common injuries include falls, head trauma, broken bones, and arm trauma. [http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/video/amazon-ceasing-sales-brands-hoverboards-35748497, December 2015]
Amazon has also announced it is no longer selling hoverboards manufactured by Swagway, who claims that it meets all safety requirements. The retailer states that it is low-quality batteries causing the fires, not the unit itself. No other brand has been named in quality issues, although Swagway claims that Amazon has pulled dozens of other budget retailers from their site due to safety questions. According to Swagway, “97 percent” of retailers on Amazon have had some of their hoverboards pulled from the popular shopping website.
The CPSC recommends avoiding any board that costs less than $300, which includes boards sold by Swagway. According to the organizations investigations, the only hoveraboards implicated in fires have been budget models. The agency has released a set of safety guidelines that can help keep hoverboard users safe. [abcnews.go.com/US/hoverboards-fires-investigation-safety-tips-holiday-season/story?id=35744358, December 2015]
Users should always wear a helmet, knee pads, and elbow pads when operating the hoverboard.
Do not charge the hoverboards overnight. This can cause overheating which could lead to fires.
Only use hoverboards on flat, debris-free surfaces.
- Do not purchase budget models under $300.
- Do not purchase hoverboards from mall kiosks or unfamilar brands. Reputable hoverboard brands include Razor, Jetson, and Hover X. Most trusted brands have a price point between $500 and $600.
- Do not use hoverboards on ice, snow, or other unsafe surfaces. Cement is the best surface for hoverboard useage.
- Wear long sleeves and pants when using the board in case of falls.
By taking safety precautions and only purchasing from reputable hoverboard retailers, you can help your loved ones stay safe this holiday season. Emergency trips are no fun and can become quite expensive. The best safety policy is to follow all usage recommendations outlined by the CPSC and do not purchase budget models of hoverboards. In response to the safety concerns, some holiday shoppers are choosing to forego the purchase of a Christmas hoverboard altogether in favor of safer gift options.