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Now Hoverboards Are Catching On Fire

One woman in the U.S. says that her self-balancing scooter caught fire and that she lost her house in the blaze.

Now Hoverboards Are Catching On Fire
[Photo: Flickr user Ben Larcey/urbanwheel.co]

Hoverboards are one of the hottest new gifts for the holidays but new reports that they may catch on fire are raising concerns among consumers.

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According to CBS Miami, two people recently reported that their self-balancing scooters burst into flames, including one man using his for the very first time.

“I came outside turned it on, came down the sidewalk not even a 100 feet and it exploded,” Timothy Cade told CBS Miami.

In Louisiana, one woman says she lost her home due to a blaze caused by the hoverboard she bought her son for his birthday last month.

“I just seen sparks like shhhhh like shooting like a firework,” Jessica Horn told the CBS affiliate, “and before I had time to even say that it was on fire, the house was on fire… the entire middle of the board just poof. I mean it just literally exploded.”

There have been previous incidents involving the scooters, which cost between $200 and $2,000, and which can travel up to 10 miles an hour. In November, the fire department in London, England issued an alert that people should keep an eye on their hoverboards while the devices charge. That warning came after the department responded to two fires, CBS Miami reported. But no one has yet called for recalls of the scooters.

Although it’s not known why hoverboards might be a potential fire hazard, Planet Money recently reported that many of the toys are made by small companies in Shenzen, China, suggesting potential quality control problems.

Nevertheless, the fire risk doesn’t seem to be dampening their appeal, even among those who’ve lost a hoverboard to flames. “They’re so fun. I would take more precaution,” Cade said.

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About the author

Daniel Terdiman is a San Francisco-based technology journalist with nearly 20 years of experience. A veteran of CNET and VentureBeat, Daniel has also written for Wired, The New York Times, Time, and many other publications.

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