Beware of what you buy-it could blow your house. 2015 was the year when hoverboards caught more attention because they can catch fire or explode.
If you’re looking to get a hoverboard for yourself or kid that you can trust, bear in mind that the U.S. government supports and approves only a handful of these mobile devices. Some manufacturers that are trusted include SwagTron and SwagWay. Focus on these two companies only!
Several children and young men claimed their hoverboards exploded. In 2015, a house caught fire as a result of hoverboard explosion, in Louisiana.
Keeping in account all of such incidents, New York and London police have taken measures to curb the use of hoverboards in streets and public places.
What makes this toy so horrible? Or which hoverboards are at risk to blow up?
Before you ride a hoverboard, let’s sort out which one can explode. Or which factors may cause a hoverboard to explode.
A Hoverboard has some components that are finely placed inside. These include a battery, wires, gyroscopes, and microchip.
So why the explosions? Well, the problem appeared to be related to the Lithium-ion batteries. These batteries are commonly used in other electronic devices like smartphones and laptops.
However, it’s the poor placement of batteries that leads to an explosion.
Lithium-ion batteries are stacked in a wrong way. Wrongly stacked batteries do not allow them to release heat properly. This factor leads to exploding often.
The other main factor is the lack of proper packing of batteries. 24 celled batteries are poorly sealed in just a plastic box.
This poor packing is the main cause of battery damage. And the low-quality batteries are more vulnerable to catching fire when damaged or punctured.
In the case of hoverboards, batteries are large enough to burn down a house. Reportedly, users were injured severely by the fires resulting from battery explosions.
Moreover, Lithium-ion batteries contain different cells. Sheets of protective layers (electric insulators) separate the individual cells.
When protective sheets are damaged through impact or overcharging, a short circuit occurs. The large current flowing through, raises the temperature of lithium, beyond a safe limit. This results in an explosion.
Insufficient or overcharging can lead to overheating, which can lead further to explode a battery.
Mostly, hoverboards have an automatic system to cut off the electric supply when it’s fully charged. However, a faulty mechanism can fail to do so.
If electric supply is not cut off right on time, the overcharged batteries can cause a big explosion.
Many of the inspectors found plugs fitted without fuses. This device cut off electric supply if the current exceeds beyond the safe limit.
So, in the absence of fuse, when current exceeds the limit, battery explodes. In low priced versions quick manufacturing causes this blunder.
Hoverboards which don’t have compatible chargers are also more vulnerable. High or low voltage chargers damage the battery and also reduce battery life.
Sometimes, wires are not placed properly and are damaged easily. Damaged wires cause short circuits and sparking. This leads the battery pack to catch fire.
Thus, hoverboards with bad wiring and circuits are also more prone.
When hoverboard faces jerks and jolts, wires are crimped. So, before you ride on your hoverboard, shake it well. If something rattles inside then avoid riding it. Instead, get it checked by an expert.
Quick manufacturing and bad quality control can lead to an unfinished product.
A Hoverboard with edges remained inside damages the wires. Inside metal spikes can also puncture the battery pack.
Low-priced versions have these prone. Local vendors do not focus on quality and produce hoverboards with spines of a steel frame.
These spines when coming across with wires, they peel off. Peeled wires certainly lead to a short circuit and vice versa.
Moist and water damage
Hoverboards are usually used in streets where little water ponds can be traced. Moreover, dump conditions can also lead moisture within hoverboard wirings.
Hoverboards that are not properly sealed, entrap small amount of water inside it. This factor can also lead to short circuit or malfunction of batteries.
It is thus, important to check seals and design of your hoverboard when you buy it.
Prevent it from fire
A branded and certified hoverboard can also explode if it is placed near the fire. If you’ll put your hoverboard near the fire, it will heat up batteries of the toy.
Eventually, overheating will burst the protective layers of battery cells. This will lead to an explosion.
Even though the hoverboard came from a certified dealer, still it can catch fire if preventive measures are not followed.
How cautious should you be?
The best way to prevent such accident is to buy hoverboard from a reliable vendor. Make sure that the manufacturer is a best-rated vendor.
A proven way is to carefully monitor the charging of your hoverboard. Plug off the charger immediately when it is fully charged.
London police said that such incidents mostly caused when the hoverboards are left charging overnight. So, be careful while charging this toy.
You should follow the preventive measures and do not hit it, drop it, or kick it. Such treatments can cause damage to battery’s protective sheets and cause a fire.
Hoverboards usually carry 80-90 kg weight on them. So, If you are too heavy or clumsy then choose hoverboards accordingly.
Are they illegal?
They are not legal or illegal everywhere. London and New York police have banned their use in streets.
Amazon and eBay also banned selling hoverboards immediately after realizing its vulnerability. New York subway, a courier service, also denied posting hoverboards via their rails.
Some airlines also prohibit carrying hoverboards in luggage and consider it as a serious violation.
Apart from private use, many firefighting agencies discourage the use of hoverboards in public domains.
Which hoverboards do not explode?
If this toy is so horrible to ride, why is it becoming a hot trend? There must be some safe one. Yes! Hoverboards from reliable manufacturers are safe to use.
So, make sure that your hoverboard comes from a rated vendor. Read carefully all directions listed behind the charger and the device.
Hoverboards with compatible charging devices are also safe. Non-compatible chargers not only reduce the battery life but damage it.
Hoverboards that are handled with utmost care usually do not explode. You must keep a view on activities of children when they are using a hoverboard.
Hoverboards, with certifications from an authentic laboratory, are safe to use. You must insist the vendor provide appropriate certification.
The major factor to keep in mind is to make sure that the hoverboard is UL-2272 certified.
UL is an organization that tests and certifies electronic devices around the globe. So, insist on the UL certification when you go for one.
Another important thing is to compare the price of hoverboard with the one on the official website of the company. If the price is ridiculously low, then don’t buy it.
Recommendation: If you want a hoverboard that doesn’t explode or cause any form of trouble, and is able to connect to bluetooth, Then SwagTron is your best shot.