Hoverboard Safety Tips and Usage Precautions

From donning an SRP of more than Php 20,000 per unit last year, hoverboards now go for less than Php 15,000 in many toy and gadget stores these days. In fact, you can get one now at Kimstore for less than Php 9,000!

I guess the sudden drop in the price of the product has something to do with accidents and combustion incidents involving hoverboards posted by users online. These caused a drop in the demand and as the laws of economics would dictate, the SRP of hoverboards was adversely affected.

Hoverboards are now more affordable than ever -- but is it still safe to purchase one for yourself, a friend, or a loved one? (The images in this post are courtesy of The Wall Street Journal.)

Following a number of "hoverboard fire" reports in the USA, America's Consumer Product Safety Commission recently launched efforts to find the root cause of the problem. According to CPSC, their staff is focusing their studies on the components of the lithium-ion battery packs as well as their interaction with the circuit boards inside the units. CPSC has consulted with test laboratories, lithium-ion battery manufacturers, and other outside experts to verify safe design practices for use of lithium-ion batteries on such a device.

The agency is likewise investigating the increasing number of serious injuries and emergency room visits associated hoverboards. "At first glance, it is easy to believe the risk of falling off a hoverboard is an obvious one and to dismiss those injuries as user inexperience or error. However, [...] the current designs of these products might not take fully into consideration the different weights of different users, potentially leading to the units speeding up or lurching in a manner that a user would not have reason to anticipate, especially a first-time user," CPSC Chairman Elliot Kaye noted. [source]

Hoverboard Safety Tips

While CPSC's investigations are ongoing, the commission urges consumers to continue to use caution with hoverboards:
  1. Have a working fire extinguisher nearby while charging or using these boards in and around your home.
  2. Charge in an open area away from combustible materials.
  3. Gear up before riding, which means putting on a skateboard helmet, elbow and knee pads and wrist guards.
  4. And, do not use a hoverboard on or near a road.
Personally, as a gadget enthusiast, I would advise consumers to also avoid overcharging hoverboards (two hours of charging should be enough for most models) and to not use it in wet or damp environments as water and electronic components rarely go well together. If you're getting one for your kids, make sure you purchase a good brand from a trusted seller, to guide your children as they are learning how to ride it properly, and to relay to them all recommendations for hoverboard safety.

Do you own a hoverboard? Do you think the product is generally safe to use or is it not for everyone? What are some saftey tips you would like to share to those who are planning to purchase this toy? Kindly share your thoughts about hoverboards in our comments section below.