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Hoverboard fire risk

CHOICE warns self-balancing scooters may pose a fire risk when overcharged

3 December 2015

Following a number of fires overseas, consumer group CHOICE has issued a warning to owners of self balancing scooters or hoverboards to ensure they don't overcharge the units.

"While hoverboards might look more like something out of a science fiction film, the fire risk from overcharging the units is very real," says CHOICE head of media Tom Godfrey.

"We are aware of a number of overseas reports of hoverboards catching fire while charging, with incidents being reported in Hong Kong, England and United States.

"Although some hoverboards carry warnings about overcharging in their manuals, it's important to ensure you charge the device as directed. Don't put it on to charge and forget about it.

"It is important to unplug the device from the wall socket when fully charged.

"It's also worth noting before rushing to buy one of these futuristic products for Christmas that hoverboards are only allowed on paths or public land in Queensland, the Northern Territory and Tasmania."

"After all, the last thing you want for Christmas is an overheating hoverboard or a fine," says Mr Godfrey.

What to look for when purchasing a self-balancing scooter:

  • An easy to read manual 
  • A short battery charge time 
  • A long-distance claim (meaning a longer charge will be maintained from the battery) 
  • An inflatable tyre, but make sure they are topped up with air to the required level
  • Check the weight of the scooter if you need to carry it 
  • Safety warning features when approaching maximum speed

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