Government Issues Statement Regarding Hoverboard Safety

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently issued a statement regarding hoverbaord safety, as concerns grow amid reports of some models catching fire unexpectedly The CPSC, as well as consumer advocates, are working to determine the root cause of the fire hazard, how much of a risk it might present, and to provide consumers with answers exoeditiously.

Unfortunately, at present, there is no clear answer as to whether certain hoverboards purchased this holiday season have safety defects. It appears that purchasers and users have effectively become unknowing participants in an expansive post-market testing lab, where the next potential tragedy is lurking. This approach is unacceptable. Regulators must move quickly to ensure that proper premarket testing is in place, to prevent defective products from reaching the shelves. Keep in mind that there is no safety standard in place for hoverboards.

Manufacturers must take the lead in designing and manufacturing safe products for consumers, including young children.

The fire hazard has, understandably, generated the most attention. The government, however, is also advising consumers that it has received dozens of reports of injuries from hospital ERs relating to fall injuries, including concussions, fractures, contusions/abrasions, and internal organ injuries. Always wear a proper helmet and padding while using these, or any wheeled or propelled product such as bikes, scooters, in-line skates, and skateboards.

We advise that consumers do not purchase or use hoverboards at this time, given the current safety concerns. The government has issued “tips” regarding the use of these products, including but not limited to:

• Do not charge a hoverboard overnight or when you are not able to observe the board.
• Charge and store in an open dry area away from combustibles (meaning items that can catch fire).
• Do not charge directly after riding. Let the device cool for an hour before charging.
• If giving a hoverboard to someone for the holidays, leave it in its partially charged state. Do not take it out of the package to bring it to a full charge and then wrap it back up. Often, the product comes partially charged. Leave it in that state until it is ready to be used.

Other tips can be found at http://www.cpsc.gov/en/About-CPSC/Chairman/Kaye-Biography/Chairman-Kayes-Statements/Statements/Statement-from-the-US-CPSC-Chairman-Elliot-F-Kaye-on-the-safety-of-hoverboards. If you or your loved ones have questions about hoverboards, please contact an attorney at Swartz & Swartz, P.C. We will answer any questions you may have. Call (617) 742-1900 in the Boston area, or in greater Massachusetts, New England, or other states across the U.S., call toll-free at 1-800-545-3732.

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