(WFLA) — The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is investigating the cause of hoverboard fire dangers and how much of a risk hoverboards present.
The agency says it has taken possession of hoverboards that have caught fire. They’ll be conducting tests on new and damaged boards to find out why some models caught fire when they were being charged and to find out why other models caught fire when they were being used.
The CPSC is also concerned about the risk of falls from hoverboards. The agency has received hoverboard injury reports from hospital ERs.
For those who are using a hoverboard (or what some companies are calling a smart board or balance board), here are some tips, based on what we know so far, to help reduce the risk of an incident:
- Avoid buying the product at a location (like a mall kiosk) or on a website that does not have information about who is selling the product and how they can be contacted if there is a problem. If you do not think you could find the seller again, were a problem to arise with your board, that should be a warning to you not to do business with them.
- Do not charge a hoverboard overnight or when you are not able to observe the board.
- Charge and store in an open dry area away from combustibles (meaning items that can catch fire).
- Do not charge directly after riding. Let the device cool for an hour before charging.
- If giving a hoverboard to someone for the holidays, leave it in its partially charged state. Do not take it out of the package to bring it to a full charge and then wrap it back up. Often, the product comes partially charged. Leave it in that state until it is ready to be used.
- Look for the mark of a certified national testing laboratory. While this does not rule out counterfeits, the absence of such a mark means your safety is likely not a priority for that manufacturer.
- Do not ride near vehicular traffic.
- This tip needs to be reiterated: It is important to wear safety gear when using a hoverboard. We recommend the same safety gear that you would wear when riding a skateboard — a skateboard helmet, and knee and elbow pads and wrist guards for protection from falls
We urge consumers to report incidents to CPSC via http://www.SaferProducts.gov.