Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Hoverboard/Balanceboard Update

Many of you might remember the post on our blog, back on December 11, regarding a Hoverboard fire in Gaithersburg (November).

Since then, cases of Hoverboard fires have increased as you can see by the tweet earlier this week from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.  As well, and not to be overlooked, the number of injuries are increasing.

With that in mind, MCFRS is offering an updated list of safety tips below. In addition, we are posting several articles of interest on the topic. Be informed and be safe. Our firefighters do not wish to meet you or a loved one by "accident!"

Safety Tips (some from CPSC)
  • Only buy a “Hoverboard” which has been certified by a recognized testing lab such as Underwriters Laboratory (UL). The box and/or “Hoverboard” should have the logo imprinted on it.
  • If you own one already - only charge the ‘hoverboard” if you are, and will be, present the entire time.
  • 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. 
  • Don't modify batteries in an attempt to get more power/charge out of them. (Use high/good quality batteries) 
  • Use the correct charger. Using cheap chargers could be problematic. 
  • If a product containing a rechargeable battery shows any signs of damage, overheating, swelling, or deformation, get rid of it because those are serious warning signs. 
  • Follow manufacturers instructions 
  •  Do not ride near vehicular traffic. 
  • Wear safety gear when using a hoverboard. It should be 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.
Some media coverage of interest:

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