Christopher LeClaire, Fire Chief
3 Greenleaf St.
Newburyport, MA 01950
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Newburyport Fire Department Provides Safety Tips on Purchasing Hoverboards
NEWBURYPORT — As residents continue their holiday shopping, Chief Christopher LeClaire and the Newburyport Fire Department would like to provide residents with safety tips on hoverboards — the latest popular gift item — to ensure they remain safe while using the device.
The new, self-balancing scooters, more widely known as hoverboards, have reportedly caused several injuries, and in some cases have started fires.
While little is known conclusively about what causes these fires to start, Chief LeClaire recommends the community review several tips provided by the National Association of State Fire Marshals on use, care and maintenance of the hoverboard to keep residents as safe as possible.
When shopping for a self-balancing scooter or hoverboard:
- Research the product before purchasing to ensure it is compliant with federal standards, inspections and certifications — it will have a mark on it or indicate such on its packaging, on the device itself, or on its charging equipment.
- When purchasing online, verify that the device meets applicable standards and that you are purchasing from a reputable source. Many of these products may not meet this country’s inspection and safety requirements.
- Purchase a device with a warranty. Also, check with your retailer regarding the safety of the device you are purchasing.
When charging your self-balancing scooter or hoverboard:
- After it has been used, give the device time to cool off prior to charging.
- Do not leave the device unattended while it is charging.
- Do not overcharge the device. Follow the manufacturer’s recommended charging times and do not leave it plugged into an outlet overnight.
- Do not use imitation electrical chargers as they may be unsafe.
- Only use one plug per socket.
When operating your self-balancing scooter or hoverboad:
- Wear appropriate safety equipment, similar to when riding a bicycle.
- Do not text or operate a cell phone while using a self-balancing scooter or hoverboad.
- Operate the device in accordance with its intended use.
- If you notice the device is very hot, stop using it and check with your manufacturer or retailer. This could suggest a faulty battery that needs replacing.
If you should have any fire-related incidents regarding these devices, please contact the Newburyport Fire Department at 978-465-4427.