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Hoverboards, also known as self-balancing scooters, have been gaining popularity in recent years. However, with the rise of their popularity, reports of hoverboard fires have also increased. In this article, we will cover which hoverboard models and brands are catching fire and what you need to know to keep yourself and your property safe.
As hoverboards are powered by lithium-ion battery packs, we will look into the hazards associated with these batteries and their electrical components. It is important to read carefully to understand how to avoid unreasonable risk and potential injury or property damage.
What are the fire risks of hoverboards?
Hoverboards may seem like a fun and convenient way to travel, but they can also pose a serious danger. This is because they rely on lithium-ion battery packs, which contain a highly flammable fluid. Unfortunately, if a hoverboard’s battery is not designed to specific safety standards, this can lead to overheating problems, which can result in explosions and fires.
This fire hazard is why hoverboards are banned from flights, but safety concerns extend beyond air travel. To ensure the safety of users, the UL 2272 certification was introduced to test the electrical and fire safety of hoverboards. Hoverboards that have been tested and certified pose less of a fire risk than non-certified products.
What’s Behind Those Fires?
Understanding the reason behind the hoverboard fires requires knowledge of their mechanism of operation. However, it’s imperative to note that hoverboards lacked standard regulations, resulting in divergence between brands and several dreadful incidents associated with this device.
Dubious Lithium-ion Battery Sources
The origin of the lithium-ion batteries utilized by most hoverboards is often not reliable. Although these batteries are in demand due to their compact size and high-performance potential, they cannot be substituted, and their quality may differ.
Ideally, meticulously produced lithium-ion batteries are stable and have a long lifespan before needing replacement. However, questionable sources may manufacture deficient lithium-ion batteries without adhering to the necessary protocols, which increases the possibility of structural defects. This may happen even if the consumer is not at fault.
Too Much Power in Too Small a Space
When it comes to dangerous hoverboard fires, an alarming factor is how multiple lithium-ion batteries are utilized to generate power for the scooter. Along with opting for inferior-quality battery sources, this results in a situation where a great deal of heat is discharged.
The trouble is that this intense heat production is crammed into a compact space with suboptimal ventilation, creating a hazardous combination. Essentially, the risk of fire increases with the excess power being generated in too confined a space, frequently leading to combustion.
What are the fire risks of hoverboards?
Hoverboards remain a fire hazard due to their use of lithium-ion battery packs, known for their high power and compact size. The battery’s highly flammable fluid poses a significant danger when not designed to specific safety standards. Normal wear and tear or the charging process can cause surface damage and lead to overheating, resulting in explosions and fires.
It is worth noting that airlines ban hoverboards on flights, indicating the potential dangers associated with the product. In case you still need to travel with your hoverboard, we suggest reading our articles on the topic for alternative means. Manufacturers must adhere strictly to safety standards and testing procedures designed to ensure the product’s safety, protecting consumers from fire-related risks.
How Behavior Increases Fire Risks
Charging hoverboards for an excessive amount of time and leaving them unattended can pose a serious risk of fire. This in addition to the risk of overheating can also contribute to accidents. Experts warn that the optimal charging time for hoverboards is between two to three hours, which is usually sufficient for full power.
Ignoring such advice and charging overnight is strongly discouraged, as it can lead to overheating and increase the risk of fires. It is important to avoid such behavior to reduce the risk of damage to property and injuries to users.
Exploding Hoverboards Led to Recalls and Reforms
From 2016 to 2017, a concerning trend caused the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to issue numerous recalls for hoverboard brands. Owing to over 250 incidents, activities connected with overheating, and fires prompted the CPSC to act. This problem emerged in 2015, and hoverboard fires became the primary highlight in the course of the year. Despite the setbacks, reforms, and recalls have since come to play for safety reasons.
The CPSC further notes that the hoverboard issue has led to a total of 13 burn injuries, with 3 smoke inhalation injuries, 2 deaths, and over $4 million in property damage recorded. For this reason, consumers should be cautious when dealing with hoverboards to avoid any incidents that could cause property damage or harm. By following safety standards and tests, this device can indeed be a playful and enjoyable means of transportation.
Only Buy UL-certified Hoverboards
To ensure your hoverboard is safe and prevent the risk of explosions or fires, it is recommended to only purchase models with UL certification. This independent organization has established safety standards to verify that the lithium-ion battery packs and all other electrical components in the hoverboard have the necessary protocols to prevent damage.
Choosing to purchase a UL-certified hoverboard is the best way to ensure it meets these safety standards, providing peace of mind while riding. By not compromising on safety features, you can enjoy your hoverboard worry-free and avoid potential property damage or personal harm. Always check that your hoverboard has been thoroughly tested and certified by a trusted agency like UL before making any purchase decisions.
Tips and Warnings
If you want to purchase a hoverboard, it’s important to prioritize safety and look for models with UL certification. It’s also crucial to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and never leave a hoverboard charging unattended. Additionally, avoid charging near flammable objects and in direct sunlight.
Reports of hoverboards catching fire and causing property damage, as well as injuries like smoke inhalation, have emphasized the importance of caution when using these self-balancing scooters. In fact, some hoverboard brands have been recalled due to safety hazards. To avoid any unreasonable risk, always check if a certain model has been recalled and follow safety features and guidelines as strictly as possible.
Only Buy UL-certified Hoverboards
To ensure your hoverboard’s safety, you should only purchase models with UL2272 certification. This certification guarantees that the electrical drive train system, charger system, and battery system have undergone thorough testing to meet safety standards.
Many top-selling brands and models offer UL certification without sacrificing affordability. By purchasing a UL-certified hoverboard, you can rest assured that your board has passed a series of tests to reduce the risk of explosions, injuries, and property damage.
Remember to always wear appropriate safety gear and follow the manufacturer’s riding instructions and user manual. Above all, prioritizing safety by selecting a UL-certified hoverboard can prevent potential hazards and give you peace of mind while enjoying your ride.
Don’t Leave Fully Charged Hoverboards Idle
Lithium-ion batteries, often used in hoverboards, contain flammable ingredients that can create fire hazards. A fully charged battery can be an unreasonable risk, as it has the potential to catch fire even when idle.
To minimize the potential danger of an idle fully charged hoverboard, experts advise to avoid overcharging and to take short rides, bringing down the battery charge to at least 90%. Leaving the device plugged in after a full charge is a risk not worth taking.
It is important to unplug the device once fully charged and not leave it idle for long, especially in direct sunlight or near flammable objects. Taking precautionary measures can avoid hoverboard recall list and keep you safe from hoverboard battery fire hazards, smoke inhalation injuries, and property damage.
Store Hoverboards in Cool Spaces
According to experts, it’s crucial to store hoverboards in cool and well-ventilated places. While it’s true that lithium-ion batteries can heat up, especially after using them, ensuring proper ventilation may help prevent explosions.
As a precaution, avoid storing hoverboards on flammable surfaces like carpets or near heat sources that could trigger a fire. This precaution is essential in case of an emergency.
Keeping hoverboards in cool and safe areas reduces the risk of damage, prolongs the lifespan of your device, and ensures your safety. Don’t underestimate the importance of storing your hoverboard away from direct sunlight, thermal cycling, and any other heat sources.
You Get What You Pay For
When it comes to purchasing hoverboards or self-balancing scooters, the old adage “you get what you pay for” certainly rings true. While it may be tempting to opt for a cheaper model, it’s important to keep in mind that the materials used in lower-priced units may carry a higher risk of explosion and other hazards. Experts recommend spending at least $300 on a hoverboard, but going for the most expensive model isn’t always necessary either.
Fortunately, there are options for those who prefer a seated option when it comes to hoverboards. With the use of one of the top hoverboard seats available, you can convert your hoverboard into a go-kart style vehicle. However, it’s important to note that this may reduce the top speed of your hoverboard.
At the end of the day, it’s important to consider all aspects of hoverboard safety before making a purchase. While price is certainly a factor, it shouldn’t be the only one. Always make sure to research the hoverboard brand and model to ensure it meets safety standards and has undergone a series of tests, including those for lithium-ion battery packs and electrical components.
Don’t Be Unnecessarily Rough
When it comes to hoverboards, rough handling can have serious consequences. While UL certification ensures that hoverboards undergo rigorous testing to prevent fire hazards and battery malfunctioning, user error can also contribute to the damage that might encourage a battery explosion. That’s why it’s important to take measures to avoid unnecessary damage.
While it’s inevitable that your hoverboard may experience some bumps and bruises, purposely damaging it poses an unreasonable risk to your safety. It’s important to be cognizant of the potential consequences of such actions.
In addition to taking care not to rough-handle your hoverboard, proper cleaning is also essential in ensuring its longevity. Debris and dirt can build up over time and create issues with the device’s electrical components. Knowing how to clean your hoverboard properly can help prevent these issues from arising.
How many hoverboards have exploded?
As of July 2016, there were 99 reports of exploding hoverboards according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
Are hoverboards a fire hazard?
Hoverboards can pose a fire hazard, particularly when the lithium-ion battery that powers them overheats and gets damaged. A damaged battery increases the risk of fire and can be dangerous. Therefore, it is essential to ensure safety standards while choosing and handling a hoverboard to avoid any fire hazards.
Has anyone died from a hoverboard?
Regrettably, it is confirmed that there have been fatalities related to hoverboards. At least four deaths have been traced back to incidents involving hoverboard-related injuries or accidents in the United States.
Are hoverboards still dangerous?
Hoverboards are no longer as dangerous as they were before, due to the implementation of safety standards. The UL2272 standards require manufacturers to meet certain requirements and best practices when producing personal e-mobility devices, resulting in fewer fire hazards and other safety risks.
It’s crucial to be aware of the potential fire hazards associated with certain hoverboards in the market. This article highlights the importance of safety standards and UL certifications for hoverboards to ensure consumers are purchasing safe products. As a consumer, it’s important to do thorough research on the hoverboard brand and model before making a purchase.
Additionally, following safety guidelines such as avoiding direct sunlight and charging the hoverboard away from flammable objects can help prevent potential fires. By being informed and taking necessary precautions, we can minimize the risk of hoverboard-related fire incidents and keep ourselves and our properties safe.
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