HOVER BOARDS??? FUN or HAZARD.. BE SAFE
We are not really sure why these powered skateboards are being called hover boards but they are causing some serious problems and we want to make sure you are keeping your kids and your home safe.
Let us first examine the hover board itself. It is a battery powered scooter without handle bars. There are a variety of names for it but the design is simple. There are two wheels that have a small platform for your feet between them. The rider stands on the platform and a sensor on it then read your bodies movement and propels the board in the direction of travel desired or so it is supposed to do.
Emergency care facilities and emergency hospitals have seen an influx of visitors due to these new devices. This surge is in excess of 25% since Christmas along. They have seen such an increase that they have dubbed it the “Hover board Epidemic.” Think it is just the kids getting hurt on these devices nope they have seen patients’ age range from 10 to 50+. These injuries are just as varied from sprains to major fractures. Losing your balance, not taking the time to learn how properly mount and dismount the device and over confidence are all reasons for the increase in injuries. This device should be something that you learn carefully, in a safe setting not out on the street where a fall could lead to a car running you over or worse.
Injury is not the only danger lurking with these new devises. Fire, is a very real concern and below you will find what we were able to discover. Investigations are still ongoing and results could change through the continued research. We have seen far too many homes and images in the news about these little devices being the cause for some major fires. Please be safe and know the dangers and the steps you can take to prevent them.
Warnings have been issued and safety protocols have been set forth to aid in the prevention of a fire. It is recommended that the hover boards be purchased from a reputable dealer and not an off brand knock off. Also make sure the batteries and chargers are certified by a national testing lab such as Underwriters Laboratories. It is not clear the reason as to why they are catching fire, but it is clear they can easily overheat and burst into flames.
The charger could be partly to blame so make sure you are not charging them over night or when you are not home to monitor the situation and do not leave it on the charger and over charge. The boards are not only catching fire when they are being charged but when in use so please use caution and if it feels warm on your feet discontinue use immediately and bring it someplace safe to cool off.
If you wanted to bring it to your cousins’ house make sure you don’t have to fly many airlines have banned the shipment of the device due to the batteries claiming they are the main problem.
The batteries are lithium-ion batteries. What are they? And what makes them so dangerous? Lithium-Ion Batteries are an energy storage device which is generally safe unless shortcuts are made by less reputable firms. Which is why it is so important to be aware of where you product is coming from. Main failures are either normal failure rates tied to a very specific design flaws that can be recalled and corrected, but more concerning are those failures that do not point to a particular design flaw and are seemingly unexplained. Many of the failures of these batteries are said to be based on the cutting of corners from the design and build to improve profit margins on the products they are used in. Please be diligent and do not buy simply because it was the cheaper version. It could be deadly
SO what do you do? When these lithium-Ion batteries fail you will hear a hisses, see bulges. If safe to do so move the item away from anything combustible and place it on a non-combustible surface such as a sink or bathtub while you can use water we recommend a dry chemical see below Should you have time take the item outside get it outside and place on a paved area to burn itself out. Now while that is not always feasible there are ways to douse the devise to quell any flames. Fire extinguishers are best but it must be a Class D or and ABC Dry chemical extinguisher as water will make the fire worse. Dry powder will also work baking soda should be your first go to and most people will have this in their home but a copper powder, or a powdered graphite will also do the trick. We cannot emphasize enough we recommend a fire extinguisher on this type of fire.. While water is ok for the lithium-ion battery just not lithium metal it is a good idea to use the proper fire extinguisher. If you don’t already have one in your home it is a good idea to get one even if you don’t have a hover board.
We hope this helps keep you safe and happy surfing…