Fire marshals warn of hoverboard fire and explosion risks

>The National Association of State Fire Marshals has published an advisory about hoverboards, a popular self-balancing scooter often bought for children. Numerous incidents of the toys exploding and starting fires have been reported in the United States and the United Kingdom, and families in Washington should only buy hoverboard brands that are UL approved. Caution during charging, which appears to trigger most of the fires, should be exercised as well.

Consequences of the fires have been serious. For example, one U.S. family lost its home to a fire started by a FitTurbo hoverboard given to a 12-year-old boy for his birthday. His mother reported seeing sparks shooting from the toy. The fire quickly spread through the home and caused extensive damage. In another incident, an 11-year-old girl felt her hoverboard get hot while she was riding it. She jumped off just in time to avoid being burned when it caught fire.

Similar hoverboard fires have alarmed UK officials. In response to numerous complaints, National Trading Standards inspected 17,000 hoverboards and identified potential fire risks in 88 percent of models. Explosion risks plagued cheap knockoff models that officials said were flooding the market during the holiday shopping season.

Preliminary evidence like this suggests that negligent manufacturers could be responsible for the defective hoverboards. A person hurt by a defective product may want to consider the potential of a lawsuit for recovering damages. An evaluation of the evidence by an attorney might identify signs of negligence that could be used to support the claim for compensation.

Source: New York Daily News, “Hoverboards are blowing up across country and in Europe, US and UK officials warn“, Alfred Ng, Dec. 6, 2015