Feds: 50+ reports of hoverboard fires since December

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Hoverboards, the latest craze, have also become the latest fire hazard.

A 11-year-old in Chelmsford, Mass. was riding the toy Monday night when it burst into flames, according to investigators.

The boy escaped injury, but the charred hoverboard is missing a wheel and a big burn mark was left on the living room floor.

The fire is the latest on a long list of incidents. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) says it’s received more than 50 reports of hoverboard fires since Dec. 1.

Overall, the agency estimates these fires have caused more than $2 million worth of damage to homes.

“If you use it, use it outside,” warned Chelmsford Fire Chief Gary Ryan. “If you charge it, supervise the charging of the hoverboard and keep it away from combustibles.”

In a letter to manufacturers, retailers and importers, the CPSC said hoverboards that do not comply with their safety standards pose “an unreasonable risk of fire to consumers” who “risk serious injury or death if their self-balancing scooters ignite and burn.”

Experts say the fires appear to originate from an excess of heat generated by the boards’ lithium batteries.

Swagway, a manufacturer under investigation by the CPSC, said in a statement on Sunday that they already meet international safety standards but “is in support of complying with the new guidelines set forth by the CPSC.”

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