Hoverboards Can Present Significant Safety Risks
Hoverboards, also called self-balancing skateboards, are flying off of store shelves this holiday season. But is the latest craze in toys and transportation safe? Warnings from one of our nation’s top agencies indicate the answer may be no.
Hoverboards are an electronic two-wheeled device that the user stands on as it moves. While they can be a fun way to get around, hoverboards have also been at the center of several safety complaints.
Fires across the U.S. have been linked to hoverboards that seemed to spontaneously combust. An article from NBC Washington details a fire in a Gaithersburg, Maryland, home that was caused by a hoverboard that overheated while charging. The story also mentioned several other fires traced to the units.
These fires prompted the National Association of State Fire Marshals to issue warnings regarding the use of hoverboards.
While hoverboards may pose a serious fire and burn injury risk to users, it’s not the only hazard associated with the devices.
There are no handles to hold for balance on a hoverboard, and the units can move at a blistering pace. This can be a recipe for a slip and fall injury for even the most experienced riders. Several instances of hoverboard users being hurt as a result of such crashes have been reported to U.S. officials.
To stay safe, experts suggest researching the product you buy to ensure it meets manufacturing and safety standards. Also, limit charging times to the manufacturer’s specifications and never leave the unit to charge alone. Finally, always wear a helmet!