‘Hoverboards’… a Great Christmas Present?
Most of you will have seen or at least heard of the new ‘hoverboard’ craze and many of you may well be thinking of getting your family or friends one for Christmas. Beware! These carry serious fire risks with many people having bad experience even with the best brands.
The ‘hoverboards’ use a lithium-ion and lithium-metal battery which when connected by something else metal react with one another. This reaction creates an electrical current that can then spark and cause serious fires; tending to create a lot of smoke and flames. Since 1991 there have been 158 incidents with these batteries causing incidents; particularly on planes either being carried as hand luggage or cargo.
For this reason airlines are particularly concerned with the new ‘hover’ trend and many airlines have recently taken the action to ban the product. Delta Air Lines, British Airways and JetBlue were the first companies to bar the devices from both carry-on and also checked in luggage following the federal safety regulators decision to launch an investigation into the reported fires. The Consumer Product Safety Commission announced they receive more than 10 complaints about board fires per day.
It is essential that you know exactly what you are purchasing. If you buy from a reputable brand, then the batteries will tend to be within the safe boundary of 101-160 watt hours. However, buying from cheaper and unknown brands could be a dangerous investment risking the safety of the recipient. Amazon have suggested that any boards that have been purchased without a UK compliant plug should be safely disposed of at a local Recycling Centre and even offered 3 day refunds. However, even the boards with UK compliant plugs have been issued a safety warning by Amazon with tips on how they can be used most safely. Amazon are not the only suppliers that are concerned. Tesco have pulled them from sales both online and offline as a “precautionary measure.”
Make sure you are aware of the potential dangers of the board and educate who you plan to give it to as how to best maintain and prevent the worst happening!