This month, a British vlogger by the name of Stephen Leenott showed just how dangerous a newer product is on-screen. He purchased a brand new hoverboard from eBay and charged it overnight, ready to show it on YouTube the next day to those who have been interested in the product. However, when he stepped on the board and attempted to start it, it did nothing. When it was tilted to the side, it made a hissing sound and caught on fire. Many people may wonder, “Was this an isolated incident?” Unfortunately, like many products that are found to be defective each year, this is one more to add to the list.
In December 2015, Chairman Elliot F. Kaye made a statement on the safety of hoverboards. Many people have been working around the clock to find the root cause of the fire hazard and what risk it will present to consumers. The fact of the matter is that, over the past year, many people have purchased hoverboards for their own entertainment. Nobody would expect a product that brings such fun and light to other’s lives could be such a hazard. Nobody had this in mind for the Christmas season when they were picking out hoverboards as gifts.
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However, testing has been successful in Maryland, as CPSC engineers have found in the National Product Testing and Evaluation Center. They have found that many hoverboards have caught fire during the charging stage and others have caught fire while in use. Here are some ways in which you can reduce the risk of an incident:
- Avoid buying the product at places like a mall kiosk or a website that does not have seller information. If you believe that the seller cannot be contacted if an issue arises with the hoverboard, this is reason to not purchase it.
- Never charge a hoverboard overnight or when you are unable to observe it. Charge it away from things that can catch fire.
- Do not charge directly after riding and always let the device cool for an hour before charging.
- Never ride near vehicular traffic and always wear safety gear! Wear a skateboard helmet, knee, and elbow pads for protection from falls.
To add onto the problems, hoverboards have been found to cause many fall injuries as well. The Monday after Christmas, there were an outstanding 70 reports of emergency room visits due to hoverboard falls! Children seemed to make up most of the new hoverboard recipients; however, many of the injured included parents. For instance, South Florida congressman Carlos Curbelo went to the emergency room and ended up with his arm in a sling after he took a fall on his nephew’s hoverboard. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a warning about the products in early December.
Elliot Kaye voiced his concerns that there have been no safety standards put in place for the hoverboard product. The fact of the matter is that these strong safety standards are what protect consumers, so they are needed. Retailers are urged to always ask their suppliers if there is an applicable safety standard in place before they agree to sell the products.
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If a consumer is injured during a fall or fire hazard incident, then they should report the incident to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. You can do this through www.SaferProducts.gov. You could help prevent accidents and it is of utmost importance that you alert the public about your experience.
If you have been injured in an accident from a hoverboard and need the help of an attorney, we will be there for you in your time of need. You may be eligible to receive compensation from a defective product gone awry. Call Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi today for more information on what you can do.
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