The hoverboard is a self-balancing scooter that has been recalled for being a fire risk and this obviously leaves a lot of people with the question, are hoverboards safe to ride now? Over 500,000 recalls have been made because of reports of fire. The hoverboard you buy should be safety compliant. Currently, the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) has introduced a safeguard standard called UL 2272. The standard addresses dangers posed by hoverboards when vendors have implemented the proper protections for riders.
Check the UL Mark
The UL standard is designed to support retailers and manufacturing companies by assessing and certifying a hoverboard’s electrical drive system, charger, and batteries. Consumers should therefore take the time to make sure that their hoverboards are UL-certified. That way, you can worry about other things besides the hazard of fire.
To ensure safety, check the UL mark on the product’s packaging as well as the hoverboard and charger. Some retail sellers have been found applying fake UL marks. A counterfeit hoverboard of this type should be noted. Look for a UL mark that is holographic and features various viewing angles and multiple hues.
It is always a good idea to take the time required to determine the authenticity of the hoverboard that you are buying for your kids. Fake products may look the same as the real thing to buyers. Avoid the fake hoverboard products as they are lower-quality scooters. The batteries are also lower quality as well. The main reason in the past for unexpected fires was faulty batteries. When the batteries failed, they rapidly discharged.
Unless you take the time needed to open the case of a hoverboard, you will not know whether or not the battery is good. If the seller does not mention the hoverboard brand, the product is probably defective. LG and Samsung batteries are considered quality hoverboard battery brands.
Choose a Reputable Marketplace Brand
To ensure a quality product, you want to purchase your self-balancing hoverboard from a reputable marketplace brand. Some of the more notable brands include Powerboard, Swagtron, Jetson, and StreetSaw. If you buy your hoverboard from a large online seller such as Amazon, make sure that you buy the product directly from the manufacturer.
You also want to make sure that you follow the manufacturer’s directions. They are there to assist you in using the product more safely. Go over the directions with your kids as they do not realize that they could become injured if they do not use their hoverboards correctly.
One of the main things that you want to review with your kids is recharging and storing the hoverboard. That is because malfunctions normally occur during the charging cycles. Make sure that the hoverboard is stored away from any materials that could ignite.
When you charge the hoverboard, you want to do so right after use. Only charge the scooter for a couple hours at one time. This means that you should not charge the hoverboard for over four hours. After the battery is fully charged, the scooter poses a slight risk of an incident.
When you are using a hoverboard, you should always wear the proper safety gear. You can find a number of videos on YouTube that show people getting injured on hoverboards. Make sure that you navigate the scooter with care and learn how to ride it properly.
Wear the Right Protective Gear
If you ride a hoverboard without preparing yourself beforehand, you can become another accident statistic. Beginners should especially take note of riding with care. When you combine unpreparedness with beginner skills, you create a recipe for a mishap. That is why you need to wear the right protective gear when riding a hoverboard.
Gear includes a reliable helmet, kneepads, and elbow pads. You may also want to don booty pads and guards on your wrists. If you are an older hoverboard rider, you should add the wrist guards as older riders often use their wrists to keep from falling.
As with any piece of equipment, you should take good care of your hoverboard. Because batteries were a big reason for fires in the past, you need to make sure that you take care of the outer case. Damages to the outside of the hoverboard can also damage the components within, which can lead to certain dangers. When a battery is damaged, chemicals within the battery can become exposed to the air and ignite a fire.
As noted, you only want to charge your hoverboard for a couple hours at a time. This means that you never want to charge your hoverboard overnight. While you may be accustomed to charging your smartphone for a long time, you cannot take this measure with a hoverboard.
Most hoverboards require no more than four hours for a complete charge. You do not want the battery to overcharge lest you set up the device for a possible fire. Also, recharge the scooter directly after it is used. Doing so stabilizes the hoverboard when it is not being used.
Keep the Hoverboard Away From Flammable Materials
Another thing — when you charge the hoverboard, keep it from anything flammable. Besides taking extra care in charging, you also will need to calibrate the hoverboard. This should be done after every three uses. You only need to take a small amount of time to calibrate the toy. Calibration is critical as it can prevent the hoverboard from shaking when it is being ridden. Calibration keeps the scooter from performing poorly and dangerously.
If your child is under 50 pounds and wants to ride a hoverboard, he or she may find that the scooter will not work well. Keep in mind that hoverboards are designed to be ridden by riders who are between 50 and 220 pounds. A child who is under 50 pounds may not be heavy enough to control the scooter properly. If someone cannot control his or her scooter, he or she could easily become injured.
Make sure that you get on and off the scooter correctly. Step forward onto the scooter before riding it. Place one foot in the center and assume a wide stance on the foot pads. Make sure that the feet are centered front and back with the toes and heels hanging off the device equally.
Never dismount the hoverboard by stepping forward. If you take this approach, you will cause the hoverboard to go forward beneath the place where you are trying to step off. When getting off the hoverboard, step backwards as if you are stepping off a ladder. Doing so will prevent any accident from occurring.
Besides following the above safety instructions, you want to make sure that you find a product that has been recommended online. The hoverboard you choose should be listed as extremely safe and display several amenities that prevent accidents. Try to choose a hoverboard that offers multi-mode functions that make the toy ideal for various skill levels.
You can still find a safe hoverboard for a reasonable price if it is a brand-name product that offers a number of safety features. Does the hoverboard come with an extended warranty? If not, you should look at another brand. Whether you are seeking to buy your first hoverboard or you have been riding hoverboards for a while, you can find a safe and enjoyable scooter.
If you prepare yourself before riding by wearing the proper gear and follow safe practices for charging, you should not experience any problems with safety. Knowing how to use a hoverboard and taking care of it properly will ensure a better and more secure riding experience.
Again, you need to make sure that the hoverboard you choose has the proper UL listing or mark. If you choose a reputable brand, you should be able to buy a board that meet your expectations in this regard. Also, look for a scooter that features well-known batteries such as LG and Samsung.
Ride with Additional Confidence
Taking the necessary precautions will mean that you can enjoy hoverboard riding with an extra sense of confidence. The first place to begin is with yourself. Know what you are buying and what you are doing when you ride a hoverboard. Doing so can mean the difference between a safe riding experience and an unfortunate event.
Review the anatomy of the hoverboard as well. The frame, which is usually made of an aluminum alloy, houses all the parts for the toy. The hoverboard also features a gyroscope and speed control boards. These components receive data from the speed sensors and tilt, each of which are contained inside the wheels. This information is sent to the logic board.
The main logic board can be likened to a computer processor. It is the brain of the hoverboard and oversees the speed and tilt of the electronic. The hoverboard battery is the scooter’s primary power source. It usually is made of lithium-ion, similar to a battery in a laptop. Normally, battery backs are 36V 4400mAH.
Wheels on the hoverboard features sensors for tilting and speed. They have the capacity to detect the revolutions per minute or RPM from each of the scooter’s wheels. The data is delivered to the speed control boards and the gyroscope.
Some Final Safety Tips
To ensure extra safety, keep a Class D fire extinguisher in your home and do not modify the device. Always wear a helmet when navigating a hoverboard and do not go too fast. Also, do not ride with other passengers or after you have just drunk a beverage or eaten a meal. Only use the original charger; never charge the electronic and leave it unattended.