Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Hoverboard Starts Fire In Florida Home


Burnt Hoverboard

PORT SAINT JOHN, Florida - A hoverboad is to blame for sparking a fire in a Florida home on Wednesday, according to Brevard County Fire Rescue.



The blaze erupted around noon on January 13, 2015 at a home located on Chapman Street in Port St. John, Florida. 

Fire rescue crews reported seeing smoke coming from the residence when they arrived on scene but canceled other incoming engines when it was discovered that combustion originated from the hoverboard.

Just last month, Amazon stopped selling nearly all hoverboards during the busy holiday shopping season citing safety concerns. Hoverboard fires have been reported across the United States and has caused the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to launch an investigation into hoverboard safety.

The CPSC offers the following tips for those who are using a hoverboard (or what some companies are calling a smart board or balance board) 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

The CPSC urges consumers to report hoverboard incidents at www.SaferProducts.gov

Image credit: BCFR