Do Hoverboards Still Catch Fire?

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In life, there aren’t a lot of things that are objectively obvious. One of the few things that are pretty clear? Hoverboards are cool. They are really rad in fact, but maybe not so rad if you wind up catching on fire during an ordinary stroll down the block. Granted, that might look cool also, but it’s not something we want to encourage.

hoverboard-photo

If you’ve been eyeing a hoverboard from afar, wondering if it’s safe enough for you to use, there is one question you definitely need answered: do hoverboards still catch on fire? Well, do they?

The Problem

If you’re into YouTube, there is a decent chance you’ve seen some frightening videos of an otherwise ordinary hoverboard session ending in flames and chaos. Not even a possibility you would ever anticipate when looking at the benign exterior of this rad gadget, and yet here we are.

It’s a real problem. So pervasive, in fact, that several airlines have decided that they won’t even allow hoverboards on their flights. Some mail carriers won’t even ship them for fear of liability.

Granted, the problem isn’t quite so extreme that proximity to a hoverboard is hazardous to your health. There are less than one hundred reported cases that occurred over several years, but in each of them, the damage was fairly significant, with several people losing their homes. Relative to the thousands of boards in circulation, the number of units involved is fairly modest, but when avoiding a fiery explosion, one can’t be too cautious.

So, what was the problem? It’s not entirely clear. Unfortunately, the incidents were not occurring with products from any single company or manufacturer (though fifteen brands were recalled).

However, most of the fires did seem to originate with the battery. Batteries that were charged for too long tended to overheat to the point that they would explode, and yes, catch fire. This is pretty much what we saw with MacBook Pro batteries a while back.

The biggest problem, however, was probably an industry-wide one. Given how new hoverboards are, they haven’t had the opportunity yet to incur a universal safety standard. If you buy a car, regardless of the company or even the country, some safety features are going to be in every automobile no matter where you go.

The same is not true of hoverboards. Preventive measures such as vents and other cooling systems were not necessarily mandatory inclusions in a hoverboard. Things have become a lot better after the introduction of the UL-2272 safety certification, however.

So, Do Hoverboards Still Catch Fire?

Yes. Sorry, probably not what you want to hear, but it’s true. There are some hoverboards out there that are still catching fire.  Sometimes it’s the manufacturer’s fault, other times the responsibility falls on the shoulders of the user.

In any case, reported incidents have diminished significantly in recent years, to the point that the problem is much smaller.

How to Make Sure Your Hoverboard Won’t Explode

That’s the question. Fortunately, it’s actually not all that hard to maximize the safety of your hoverboard. First things first, make sure that you buy from a reputable manufacturer. The better the wiring and the battery of your hoverboard, the less likely you are to encounter unfavorable results.

The industry is also aware of the explosion problem, of course, and as a result, they will sometimes highlight features that reduce the risk naturally. Cooling systems and batteries that stop charging when they are full are both great ways to reduce the risk of fire without any additional effort on your part.

There are also some best practices you can engage in to ensure that you avoid problems. For one thing, be very careful with how long you charge the hoverboard. Most of the reported fires happened because the batteries were hooked up significantly longer than they were supposed to be.

Most boards charge over the course of a couple of hours, and shouldn’t be hooked up any longer than that.

You will also want to “train” the battery by charging it regularly after use. This keeps things stable and can help ensure that nothing weird spontaneously happens.

Finally, treat your hoverboard like the sensitive electronic that it is. Don’t be rough with it. Respect weight limits, and don’t push the speed factor until you feel comfortable on the board.

If you use your hoverboard carefully, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about!

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Summary
Title
Do Hoverboards Still Catch Fire?
Description
In life, there aren’t a lot of things that are objectively obvious.

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