You might remember these futuristic motorized boards from Back to The Future II. While they don’t exactly levitate over the ground, these two-wheeled, self-balancing scooters have become a huge hit over the past year.
In November, hoverboards were banned in NYC because they were classified as “motorized vehicles that can not be registered with the DMV;” however, that is no longer the main concern with these popular gadgets.
Recently, there have been more than twenty incidents of hoverboards catching fire or “exploding.” The fires have started while the hoverboards were charging, sitting unused or even during a ride. The cause of the fires is said to be the batteries overheating – but without knowing for certain when the batteries will overheat, customers are worried they can’t ride their hoverboards without them, you know, suddenly bursting into flames.
Some of the biggest and most well-respected companies are taking this very seriously. In fact, Amazon recently stated that they want their customers to “throw their hoverboards away.” Amazon is offering refunds to customers who believe they have purchased an unsafe product and won’t allow manufacturers to list their hoverboards online without first providing safety documentation and proof that their hoverboards have passed certain standards.
In addition to Amazon, nearly all airlines are not allowing passengers to travel with hoverboards. (Sorry hoverboard owners, unless you are within driving distance, you will have to leave your hoverboard at home.)
Those of you attending CES next week should also be aware that hoverboards have been banned from the show grounds. This comes as no surprise, as other personal transportation devices have been banned in the past. The main reason for banning these devices is because of safety concerns regarding moving around in such a crowded area (although I’m sure they don’t want anything bursting into flames, either).
If you are still not convinced about staying away from hoverboards in the future, this Saturday Night Live parody might do the trick. However, because there are a few brave souls out there who will continue using hoverboards, keep these tips in mind:
- NEVER let your hoverboard charge overnight or for long periods of time when no one is watching it.
- Don’t charge your hoverboard immediately after using it — let it cool down first.
- Double check what type of plug you own. If it’s not from the well-known manufacturer, it’s probably not safe.
- Spend the extra money on a reliable brand. Saving the extra few dollars may seem nice at first, but it won’t be worth it when you are extinguishing flames from your new purchase. Always stay away from third-party sellers on Amazon or E-Bay. Instead, stick with reliable manufacturers such as IO Hawk, Phunkeeduck, Monorover, Swagway and Powerboard.
- Be careful! If you feel like something is wrong with your hoverboard, you are probably right. Always make sure that your manufacturer can guarantee your safety before hopping on board.
Between the recent explosions and dozens of emergency-room treated injuries involving hoverboards, we are left wondering how long it is going to take before these things are finally taken off the shelves for good. It is no question that these hoverboards look cool, but before going out and purchasing one, ask yourself: is it really worth it?
What do you think? Are you still interested in buying a hoverboard? Comment below or tweet us @BIGfishPR to let us know!