For Christmas 2015, parents were excited to present their children with the latest gadgets - and the hottest item sold this year was that of hoverboards. Over the holidays local doctors and emergency rooms were swamped with children being injured from hoverboards. Some were falls, some were accidents, but there were an alarming number of people injured from fires too.
Already the government is investigating reports of fire and unexpected explosions from these hoverboards, but fires are not the only potential injury. There were several instances of people who were injured seriously from collisions and falls - according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. From scrapes to broken bones, these injuries are serious. Some children have accidentally somersaulted over their boards - fracturing bones and even suffering from brain injury.
Since August 2015, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has been investigating hoverboard injuries. They have already received over 29 reports of injuries and they are investigating 10 fires in nine different states. Multiple reports have been filed regarding how these devices will randomly catch fire or explode and destroy entire homes and rooms in seconds.
Already certain airlines have banned them from cargo because they pose a potential fire hazard. New York City has also banned the use of hoverboards and Amazon has started to pull certain models from their site and asked manufacturers to prove that their devices are safe before they are listed for sale again.
The issue with these hoverboards is safety standards and the fact that there are none. Because they are relatively new, standards and monitoring have yet to catch up to the technology. With a lack of safety standards in place, manufacturers are able to release their products without proper testing - and they don’t have to include the same warning labels on their products as other manufacturers of more established products.
Because of the high risk for explosion or fire, manufacturers have attempted to say that the issue is the use of charger - telling users that as long as they use the charger the hoverboard comes with, there’s no risk for fire. The issue, however, is that the charger type is not easily changed out and the fires that occurred all used the charger the device came with.
The other statement made by manufactures is to not overcharge the device - but what product on the market states that to consumers? That is the same as telling a consumer to unplug their cellphone or tablet the moment it charges to 100 percent or they could explode.