In Back to the Future II, Marty McFly stepped on a floating piece of fiberglass and used it to get away from a group of thugs trying to beat him up. In that moment, everyone in America wanted a hoverboard. Now, 25 years later, people are getting that wish granted. The hoverboard is the hottest gift of the 2015 Christmas season. The only problem? There are now enough reports from around the country to show that hoverboards can be very dangerous.
Nearly 90 percent of hoverboards that have been imported to Britain since October have been seized for being “unsafe” because of worries they could explode or catch fire. Back in America, reports of hoverboards catching fire have started popping up over the past couple months.
A Florida man using his hoverboard for the first time reported that it burst into flames. “I came outside turned it on, came down the sidewalk not even a 100 feet and it exploded,” Timothy Cade told CBS Miami.
Causes for the fires have been narrowed down to lithium ion batteries that may overheat if they’re charged too long. Technology experts say that the hoverboards shouldn’t be kept plugged in after they’re fully charged.
But, even with reports of hoverboards catching fire, it’s still going to be hard for many parents to deny their kids the hottest gadget of the year. The National Association of Fire Marshals has issued an official warning about hoverboard dangers. They offer these tips to anyone thinking about buying a hoverboard:
- Make sure the hoverboard meets federal standards and inspections. Check for a mark on the packaging, the device, or the charging equipment. If it doesn’t have a government mark, DO NOT buy that hoverboard.
- Only buy hoverboards that come with a warranty.
- Only buy hoverboards at a store in person, or from the website of a company you trust.
- ALWAYS let the hoverboard cool off after you use it and before charging it again.
- DO NOT leave a charging hoverboard unattended. (And DO NOT overcharge it.)
- DO NOT plug anything else into the same socket you’re using to charge your hoverboard.
- If your hoverboard gets hot while you’re riding, get off it and call the store you bought it at, or get in touch with the manufacturer.
Christmas is about many things, but fun is near the top of the list. No toy should hurt people. If you or someone you know has had a hoverboard catch fire, don’t hesitate to contact the product liability attorneys at Farah & Farah.
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