Five or six years ago, the internet was awash with stories of exploding hoverboards, causing all sorts of damage, from injuries through to house fires, but do hoverboards still explode any more?
It was the lithium-ion batteries that power a hoverboard, which posed a fire hazard and since 2017, hoverboard manufacturers must pass strict safety tests in order to legally sell their products in the UK, where thankfully, hoverboards do not tend to explode.
The problems arose from cheap batteries that were either defective, or unable to resist normal wear and tear, which resulted in them becoming a fire risk. Lithium-ion batteries are incredibly common nowadays and power everything from your mobile phone to your laptop.
They can catch fire if hot vapours within the battery cells, come into contact with oxygen in the atmosphere and for this reason, hoverboard batteries are now subjected to rigorous tests and once they have a UL Certification, they are deemed to meet high standards of safety and quality.
Europe has it’s own safety certification called a CE mark, it is also an assurance of safety and quality and while the UL certificate isn’t required by law, hoverboards must be CE certified to be sold here in the UK.
When you buy a hoverboard with UL and CE certification, there is no expiration as it signals that the product complied with all the requirements at the time of inspection.
The battery on a good quality hoverboard will bear a UL 2272 marking, while the charging unit will bear a different numbers. The microprocessors within the motor should also be UL certified to ensure that any failure, doesn’t result in injury, fire or electric shock.
How safe is my hoverboard?
If you buy a hoverboard with UL certification, it will have been subjected to an array of rigorous tests, including overcharging, being dropped, exposed to water and extreme temperatures. It will also have been overloaded and subjected to vibrations. In short, anything you do to your hoverboard, within reason, will never be as extreme as any of the UL tests. The certification means you can totally trust the product and don't need to worry about your hoverboard exploding or catching fire.
If you do read stories about this happening, it is likely to be caused by inferior, cheaper hoverboards that haven’t undergone safety tests. It is always best to buy from a reputable company because some of the less reliable ones, may forge a UL marking.
What else can I do to make sure my hoverboard is safe?
- Always buy a new hoverboard and don’t try and save money by opting for a second hand model.
- Buy from a seller with a good reputation – don’t buy a hoverboard from anyone that you won’t be able to contact at a later date, should you run into problems.
- Make sure that any hoverboard you buy comes with a warranty.
- Don’t charge your hoverboard overnight or when you are not in the room. And don’t overcharge it.
- Let the hoverboard cool after use before you recharge it.