Hoverboards are one of the top gifts for the 2015 holiday season. Sales are already skyrocketing at both brick and mortar and online retailers. These boards are especially popular amongst kids, which, in light of recent events, now seems dangerous. Recently one twelve-year-old boy from Louisiana received hover board a few days before Thanksgiving,and naturally, he was very happy… For a while.
There have been multiple reports of people being injured after having fell off, teenagers being hit by vehicles as they ride their boards on public roads. But nobody expected a hoverboard accident to end up burning family’s home to the ground. According to several news reports, the boy had received a “Fit Turbo” hoverboard, which uses lithium batteries and requires charging on a regular basis.
Lithium batteries are normal amongst items that use a lot of power, such as drones and RC vehicles. In the vast majority of cases, they perform properly and have built-in safety features which are designed to prevent them from exploding or burning during normal use. However, there have also been cases where these safty features would fail and the batteries spontaneously comust. Lithium reacts with water, so attempts to extinguish a lithium fire with water actually makes matters much worse. This is precisely what happened when the hoverboard was plugged in to the wall, the hoverboard instantly caught fire and the flames spread throughout the house at an alarming speed.
Thankfully, nobody was injured in this incident, but the damage to the house was extensive and items were lost that could never be replaced. There have been no reported fire injuries from hoverboards in the United States, however the Fire Department Chief from the town where the boy lived says he has seen reports of hoverboard batteries on fire in other countries.