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Hoverboards are fun, sure, and many a kid has begged his or her parents for one. But we are hearing more and more stories about plugged in hoverboards crackling, sizzling, throwing sparks and starting fires. And this problem isn’t only related to cheap or counterfeit boards, either. Even top-of-the line products can ignite in a heartbeat. Last Monday, one of those hovercrafts completely destroyed one town house and damaged the attached dwellings, displacing some 13 residents in the process. Thankfully, there were no deaths or injuries, but this incident goes to show just how dangerous these devices can be – and unfortunately for the family of 8 who owned the hovercraft, they have lost absolutely everything in the fire.
The 12 year old owner of the hovercraft plugged it in to the wall and immediately noticed crackling, sizzling and smoke. By the time she alerted her mother, the fire had already taken hold, forcing the family to evacuate their home, leaving everything behind. In just a few minutes, the whole structure had fallen down and was a complete loss.
It’s important to note that more than 500,000 hovercrafts from a variety of companies were recalled by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission last year because their lithium-ion batteries are prone to overheat and either catch fire or explode. Earlier this year, another family lost their $1 million home and most of their belongings to a house fire started by a charging hoverboard they had purchased on Amazon. They are now in the process of suing the retail giant for allowing a dangerous product to be sold and distributed without so much as a warning.
Amazon has since banned all sales of hoverboard citing safety concerns, and has also offered full refunds on all hoverboard sales through their site. Hoverboards aren’t the only battery operated devices that can cause fires or explosions, but as they are notorious for their malfunction and charging hazards, I would highly recommend not acquiring one, and getting rid of them if you already bought one. They might be fun for a while, but no amount of fun is worth losing your home or, indeed, your life or that of your loved ones.