Hoverboards, the latest update to skateboards, aren’t just toys that look like something from a scene in Back to the Future-turns out they are actually a dangerous hazard, to boot.
The transportation gadgets are battery powered and allow riders to roll to their destination like a Segway with no handle. Sounds handy but they’ve recently come under fire for… just that: catching on fire.
A London Fire Brigade warning was issued last October, after a hoverboard caught fire while having its battery charged in a bedroom in Southwark, England. The damage in the picture below was caused by this imitation hoverboard which burst into flames while recharging its battery, forcing two men to escape through a first-floor window.
Personally, I’d prefer a fire-proof, foot-powered skateboard over a flaming hoverboard. And so, maybe, would others. Reaction to the fire has been widespread. A report this week on bbc.com indicates that Swagway, the company making hoverboards, has stopped selling its product on Amazon in the US and the UK.
The problem, Swagway states, does not come from their products, but from cheap and dangerous imitations which do not adhere to safety standards and can be flammable.
For the moment, hoverboards from any company seem to have been removed from Amazon’s site, perhaps until the bad apples can be sorted out.
And it doesn’t stop there. According to bbc.com, the now-controversial toy has led to three leading American airline groups banning hoverboards and the seizure of more than 15,000 of the gadgets at ports and airports in the UK in recent weeks. The batteries, it states presented an “unacceptable fire hazard”.
But, even with all the danger, they still look pretty cool and it’s certain that they are on many lists for the holidays.
Want to get one for Christmas? Just Make sure it’s an authentic Swagway, or have the fire extinguisher nearby when plugged in to charge.
Or, as previously stated, maybe get a skateboard or some rollerblades as a gift, instead. The rider will get a lot more exercise-two gifts in one!