Over the past few days there has been an increase in the concern relating to this years must have Christmas item the hover board, specifically they are over-heating and catching fire. This is frightening and even more so is the fact that it has been reported that of over 38,000 devices inspected between 15 October and the end of last week, more than 32,000 were deemed unsafe and/or counterfeit.
Faulty Hover Board Warning
These units have been manufactured using such poor quality components that they actually catch fire. They have safety issues with the plugs, cabling, chargers, batteries or the cut-off switches within the boards, which are designed to stop the battery from continuing to charge once fully charged. A faulty cut-off switch can lead to the device overheating, exploding or catching fire. It was noted on a Channel 5 news programme that the type of plug and the cable that is being used are counterfeit. The concern being that how would the general public know this is the problem? It’s OK for us, as PAT testers when we come across cables and leads with plugs which are, like these, low quality, we have the experience to identify the dangerous units. The Fire brigades in London and Buckinghamshire have been called out to blazes caused by the battery pack or charger overheating and having no safety cut-off function causing damage to the house after a hover board exploded in the kitchen.
Some of Britain’s biggest retailers including Argos, Halfords, Amazon and John Lewis have recalled hover boards after the government told consumers to think twice about buying them. Amazon advised its customers who have purchased a hoverboard with unsafe plugs to put them in the bin and they will refund. This is where the problem begins, members of the general public would not necessarily know that they have unsafe or non-compliant UK plugs, as experienced PAT Test engineers we have been trained to carry out a visual inspection of cables, plugs, fuses and the appliance but PAT Testing is only carried out in the workplace and not in the home and over the last year the number of electrical goods that have come onto the market that are counterfeit has increased dramatically. Have you seen the video showing how a fake Nutribullet under test conditions catches fire in less than 4 seconds? Watch it here
So please, if you have recently bought a hover board for a Christmas present please take care, if in doubt return it to the store you purchased it and claim a refund. Or if you know a qualified PAT Tester, get them to check it out for you!
Stay safe, until next time