The highly sought after “hoverboard” is on the top of many children’s Christmas wish lists, but these self-balancing, motorized scooters have been known to burst into flames. State Fire Marshal Butch Browning says read up on these devices before purchasing one.
“We know that most of them aren’t tested and made reliable by independent testing firms, both the device and the batteries, so make sure that you purchase one that’s been tested by a recognized testing laboratory.”
Browning says in November, a Lafitte resident was harmed by a fire started from an exploding “hoverboard,” but events like this are happening all over the country. He advises buyers to go through the operation manual before using the device.
“Go through that manual and make sure that you’re using all the recommended practices. It may be a situation where they only recommend that you charge that battery for a certain period of time. Follow those recommendations.”
Browning says they haven’t deemed all hoverboards unsafe because some do undergo proper testing. He says the highest risk of fire is when the device is charging.
“It could probably be a number of reasons why a fire could’ve been started. Certainly, when you’re charging that device, that’s really a risky point because you’re transferring energy from one source to another, being the battery.”