Christmas Wishlist Warning: Avoid Hoverboards

Christmas Wishlist Warning: Avoid Hoverboards

The gadgets top many festive wishlists but they could pose major fire risks, the Local Government Authority has warned consumers.

Local authorities are urging shoppers to think twice about buying hoverboards for Christmas because of the “significant” fire risks they pose.

The call from the Local Government Association (LGA), which represents 46 fire authorities in England and Wales, comes after a number of major retailers pulled the self-balancing scooters from their shelves.

The LGA said more than 80% of 38,000 hoverboards stopped from entering the UK by Trading Standards since October had been deemed unsafe – many because of an “increased risk of exploding or bursting into flames”.

Jeremy Hilton, chairman of the LGA’s fire services management committee, said: “Hoverboards are top of Christmas wishlists for many people this year, but these exploding gadgets can cause major fires which put lives at risk.

“Trading Standards teams at councils nationwide have been working hard to stop dangerous hoverboards entering the country, but people are able to buy them online from unofficial websites.

“With major retailers pulling them from sale, we are urging people to think twice about buying a hoverboard because of the significant fire risk associated with them.”

Halfords, Amazon, John Lewis and Argos have stopped selling versions of the gadget in recent weeks. Many cheap, fake imports have hit the headlines after fires including one in Kent, which caused £25,000 damage after a hoverboard overheated while charging.
The LGA is advising people to avoid “fake and suspiciously cheap hoverboards”, especially those being sold online.
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