Hoverboards, the new trendy riding gadget that doesn’t exactly “hover,” has been a huge hit this past Christmas as it was one of the best selling gifts. Despite its popularity however, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) revealed last month that it will be undergoing an investigation of 22 reports of hoverboards that have caught fire in at least 17 different states.
The CPSC engineers in their National Product Testing and Evaluation Center in Maryland have been testing new and damaged boards to try to figure out why some boards catch fire during the charging stages when compared to others that caught on fire while they were being rode on. It is believed the battery that comes equipped with the board and its compatibility with the charger is a main cause of these occurrences. These combustible batteries have been the reason even many airlines have banned hoverboards from carry-ons and checked-in baggage. Tampa International Airport even posted on their twitter to not even bring them to the airport. “We’ve joined many airports/airlines in banning them on campus,” they tweeted.
Not only are hoverboards dangerous because of the possibility of catching fire but also because of the risk of falling and causing serious injury. The CPSC has received 70 reports of emergency room-treated injuries involving hoverboards. These injuries included concussions, fractures, contusions/abrasions, and internal organ injuries. The CPSC is concerned that there are no hoverboard safety standards. Sean Kane with the Safety Institute said, “You have a product that doesn’t meet any safety requirements. They are considered toys, but in fact they’re not.”
A man from Clearwater broke his leg in several places when he fell from a hoverboard. Apparently, he tried to change directions and fell backwards. Now he has more than $100,000 in medical bills. Another Florida resident also had an accident with a hoverboard when he was trying out his nephew’s board. He injured his arm and had to go to a hospital to receive treatment for his injury.
Elliot F. Kaye, chairman of the CPSC, urges the danger of these boards and how while fire hazards are unsafe, the risk of severe injury from a fall from the board is more pertinent. Therefore it’s very important to not underestimate these boards and use extreme caution if using them, especially if you’re trying it out for the first time.
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