With the number of hoverboards exploding into fire reported, airlines are now banning these personal riding devices from their flights. There are at least seven airlines who have put this hoverboard ban in place as it is well documented that they can spontaneously catch fire and that is the last thing you want 30,000-feet above the ground.
According to MSN News on December 11, it is the lithium-ion batteries that power the hoverboards that are most likely the culprits sparking these fires. The hoverboard is one of the most popular gifts for this holiday season and while they’ve come down in price since first on the market, they are still at least a $300 dollar purchase. Leaving them behind at the airport might be a hard thing to do, so why chance it, leave it home!
CNN News reports that Delta’s concerns are the size of the lithium-ion battery because the airlines don’t allow batteries on flights over a certain size because of combustion risk. Many of these hoverboard products do not note the size of the battery they use, so you just don’t know the size.
The airlines so far who have put the hoverboard ban into their flight policy are American Airlines, Delta, United, Alaska Airlines, British Airways, Jet Blue and Virgin. The list is expected to grow to where these personal riding devices won’t be allowed in the air at all.
An investigation of the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission is trying to get to the bottom of these reports of the hoverboards blowing up at home. It appears they are catching fire while charging or just after being charged.
For now people who plan to put one of these hoverboards under the tree this year as a gift or who plan to wrap up the device and deliver it as a present are urged not to charge them first. People are warned to keep an eye on your hoverboard while charging it.
Reports of a hoverboard causing a house fire in Louisiana and destroying the family’s home along with another one blowing up at a mall are just a few incidents out of several that have been reported in the news recently. There are many more both in the U.S. and across the pond in Great Britain.
To be fair to the hoverboard makers, some hoverboards are made better and safer than others. Mashable suggests that your best bet when purchasing one of these devices is to look for an independent laboratory tested unit, like one with the UL tag.
Qz.com reports: “Of 17,000 hoverboards inspected by the UK’s National Trading Standards since October, 15,000, or 88%, are “unsafe,” because of “issues with the plug, cabling, charger, battery, or the cut-off switch within the board, which often fails,” the standards agency said Dec. 3.”