Hoverboards that burst into flames are in the news again for topping a consumer watchdog’s list of most dangerous summer toys. A report on Forbes.com states that hoverboards continue to be linked to fires and deaths, and that manufacturers and sellers of these products seem to have no sense of urgency to stop these mishaps. The list was released by the consumer advocacy group, World Against Toys Causing Harm (WATCH).
Hoverboards have been blacklisted by WATCH since 2015. The lithium-ion batteries in hoverboards have a tendency to spontaneously combust. There have been reports of hoverboards exploding on the street and in shopping malls among other places, even as people were riding on them. Hoverboards have caught fire while being charged in homes, causing millions of dollars worth of property damage.
Numerous Incidents Nationwide
As of July 2016, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission had logged 99 reports of hoverboards smoking, sparking or catching fire and issued a recall of more than 500,000 hoverboards from different manufacturers. In March, two children, ages 3 and 10, were killed in a residential fire that was caused by an exploding hoverboard.
The hoverboard ignited when it was being charged in an outlet on the first floor engulfing the home in flames. In April of this year, teen babysitters in Washington rescued eight children trapped in a house fire caused by another charging hoverboard. Last month, CPSC issued an urgent warning about LayZ Board hoverboards stating that it is urging consumers to stop using them immediately.
Better Safe Than Sorry
WATCH is calling for avoiding hoverboards altogether due to the fire and injury risks they present. If you do buy a hoverboard, look for a “UL” holographic certification mark on the board. There are other precautions to take if you own or use a hoverboard. Allow the hoverboard to cool down before you charge it. Keep your hoverboard in sight as it’s charging. Follow the manufacturer’s recommended charging times. Never leave it plugged overnight for charging. Avoid dangerous knock-off charges. Only use the charger that comes with the product.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries as a result of a dangerous or defective hoverboard, call an experienced product defect attorney who will help protect your rights and hold the at-fault manufacturer accountable for their negligence.