16 November 2015
Beware Exploding Hoverboards
Christmas shopping has started and the newest gadgets and games are at the top of many peoples’ lists. But make sure you do your research and choose wisely, as there have been media reports of hoverboards exploding.
The so-called hoverboards that are all the rage at the moment have caused concern amongst fire departments across the country. There have been a number of house fires caused by them apparently exploding whilst on charge.
Hoverboards, also known as personal transporters or “rideables” as they don’t actually hover, are expected to be this Christmas’ top seller, but they can be very expensive. Cheaper versions are available but they are not likely to be as well tested as versions manufactured in the UK or United States and may not adhere to our safety standards.
Paul Hodkinson from Kent bought three hoverboards for his grandchildren thinking that they would be perfect presents. To make sure they worked he plugged one in to charge in his kitchen. The hoverboard caught fire and “fizzed like a firework” before exploding, causing £25,000 worth of damage to his house. Mr Hodkinson said he paid £300 online for the hoverboards and believed them to be safe.
Last month two men in London had to escape through a first floor window after a fire broke out in a room where a hoverboard was charging. They said they heard a loud bang before discovering the blaze.
Concerns have been specifically raised that hoverboards imported from China do not have standard British plugs on their chargers. Investigations into the fires and hoverboards have found that the plugs may not have fuses in them and could be at risk of overheating, exploding and catching fire.
Fire services up and down the country advise people to keep an eye on devices whilst charging, but we know that’s not always possible.
Trading standards officers in Salford have seized 90 hoverboards from a supplier following concerns that they did not comply to British safety standards. Councillor Gena Merret said “if anyone is thinking of buying one of these devices for Christmas, please be very careful and only buy from a reputable and trusted shop. These are electrical items and you cannot be too careful. It is not worth risking your home and family's safety just to save a few pounds."
About a quarter of a million people complained about faulty products last year in the UK. Faulty products can cause significant injuries and sometimes they can be fatal.
We have the right to buy products that are safe to use and in good working order. If this isn’t the case then we are entitled to a repair, replacement, or refund. If we suffer an injury from a product we can claim compensation.
There is a time limit of three years for any injuries caused by faulty products and it’s important to get advice from a specialist lawyer. Slater and Gordon Lawyers have experts in faulty product claims and can act on your behalf on a No Win No Fee agreement.
If you have been injured, or have experienced a fire or other loss due to a faulty product, please get in touch with our experts at Slater and Gordon for a free consultation. Call us on freephone 0800 916 9046 or contact us online and we will call you.