If you thought picking your child or siblings next Christmas present was going to be an easy job you better think again. Any betting person would have thought the increasingly popular “hoverboard” would be the most sold item this Christmas retailing from around £200.
Unfortunately, National Trading Standards have deemed them as fire hazards as cheaper versions of the product have proved to have blown up as owners have testified in review forums. In October it was also reported that four fire engines and 20 firemen were called to a property in Southwark after an electric uni-cycle caught fire whilst charging.
Inspectors have confiscated 15,000 hoverboards at the border after testing showed that many were “unsafe”.
According to Trading Standards: “Many of the items detained and sent for testing have been found to have noncompliant plugs without fuses, which increases the risk of the device overheating, exploding or catching fire.”
National Trading Standards inspectors tested 17,000 in total and found that 15,000 of those were of harm to the public. That is a whopping 88%. As many are now manufactured in China to maximise productivity and profit, concerns have been raised and the government have overseen this confiscation and may need to step in further.
Well, first thing first, they’re not actual hoverboards are they? Do not ruin the dream which will be eventually realised one day when we have skateboards that hover in the air ala Back to the Future. These contraptions you see today are basically Segways without the handle. They are properly known as self balancing scooters.
The second thing is, these things were clearly health and safety issues in the first place. I’ve seen them used and they are not easy to grasp. Those that use them usually do not wear protective clothing such as helmets or kneepads and those who aren’t using them (pedestrians) are liable to get hit and hurt.
What is quite funny is that Crown Prosecution Service have already declared that riding a hoverboard on the street to be illegal. The 1835 Highways Act prohibits anyone from leading or driving any horse, ass, sheep, mule, swine, or cattle or carriage of any description on our lovely, often cobbled and uneven pavement. God forbid they take to the main roads and join the cars and buses. That’s if they don’t blow up by then.
— WGN TV News (@WGNNews) December 1, 2015
Even New York’s police department consider them unsafe and illegal. Just last week a house fire in Louisiana was blamed on a hoverboard catching fire and soon after a man captured the moment his self balancing scooter blew up under his feet, before catching fire. “What is going on dude!”
Unknown to the owner and maker of the video his words may become the most important anti-hoverboard purchase message this Christmas. The above video acts very much like a public service announcement.
So could this fad be over before it started?