What was just a fiction nearly 30 years ago became a reality in 2015; well part reality actually. Inspired by the film “Back to the Future”, the manufactures in China produced a hoverboard or to be more exact a ‘Self balancing two wheeled board’ that is controlled thoroughly by the feat and body movements. It became a hot shot in the United States in 2015 as more and more celebrities and kids got their hands on it. However, it was not long that these boards became a potential hazard, a self exploding device catching fire every now and then.
Hoverboard fires became a norm and more and more countries, states and airlines banned them for public use or display. No doubt it really is a fun vehicle to ride on but the potential dangers are so much that it’s really not worth the money. If you have got a Hoverboard, the stakes are extremely high that it might catch fire anytime. Let’s look at all the reasons due to which hoverboards are catching fire and the resultant threat they are posing.
Why it Happens
- Lithium Batteries
We all know how volatile lithium is; just a little heat and the ion catches fire like anything. All the hoverboards have lithium batteries installed in them. A Mall in Texas was evacuated as a Hoverboard caught fire in the store on 28th December 2015. No immediate reason was found but the signs clearly indicate it was the result of a highly proactive lithium battery. Here a question arises that if these batteries are so lethal then why use them in the first place? Well! The answer is simply because lithium provides much high energy density thus ensuring long battery timing, so the manufacturers find them cheaper to use.
- Inaccurate charging
Over charging, under charging and the use of wrong chargers have also resulted in Hoverboard fire incidents. A house was nearly blown up in Orland Park this valentine, when a plugged in Hoverboard caught fire. The flames nearly caught hold off the whole building but the firefighters arrived and saved the day. Another incident happened in San Leandro, California, when an all night charged Hoverboard caught fire and nearly burned down the whole building. The safety standards teams are stressing again and again to use only the chargers that come with the Hoverboard.
- Poor wiring and low quality manufacturing
Buying low quality hoverboards has also proved to be dangerous. During the investigations, it was found that many manufacturers don’ take much care in wiring and wrong wiring just need a little spark to blow the whole thing off. Always look for a certified manufacturer, no matter how high the price they charge.
How to prevent fire or stay safe in case it happens?
Well, the sale of hoverboards and issuance of license to the retail companies have been withdrawn in the aftermath of these fire incidents, so you are not likely to get your hands on a Hoverboard anytime soon, especially if you live in US, UK or Australia. However, if you still insist to buy then there are few things you should look out for:
- Don’t over charge or leave your Hoverboard for overnight charging
- If you feel the Hoverboard is hot, get away immediately and call the emergency services., it is also recommended to have a fire extinguishing equipment with you
- Always ride away from the traffic lane, and wear all the gear because, it can reach up to a maximum speed of 10km/ and you can get injured if you fall at this speed. Also they are very hard to control and can result in accidents causing, injuries, fractures, scratches etc. A boy died in London from a collision with track while riding Hoverboard.
- And lastly, it’s better to wait, because investigations are underway, and the quality research teams are unto it to detect the faults and remove the dangers to make this product live again.