Trading Standards officers are warning Christmas shoppers to be cautious before buying a hoverboard, tipped to be one of this year’s most popular festive gifts.
The toy, also known as a balance board, is selling fast in the run-up to Christmas, but there have been reports that poor quality versions are a fire hazard.
Fire brigades in London and Buckinghamshire have all attended fires caused by the battery pack or charger overheating and having no safety cut-off function, while a Kent family have spoken of how a hoverboard caused £25,000 of damage to their house after exploding in their kitchen.
In Northamptonshire, the County Council’s Trading Standards is encouraging people to only buy hoverboards products from reputable retailers.
Councillor André Gonzalez de Savage, Council cabinet member for public protection, strategic infrastructure and economic growth, said: “Hoverboards are expected to be on many children’s lists to Father Christmas this year, but parents shouldn’t be fooled by a cheap deal.
“We’ve received reports of poor quality products being imported from overseas, so our advice is to only buy from trustworthy shops and outlets.
“A fire caused by a knock-off product that doesn’t adhere to safety standards would ruin anyone’s Christmas, so please follow our advice.”
Consumers are also being reminded that it is against the law in the UK to ride a hoverboard on a road or footpath.