UL Will Start Certifying Hoverboards
The popular self-powered scooters have been making headlines as fire hazards
UL, a global independent safety science company, recently announced it will evaluate, test and certify hoverboards. These battery-powered hands-free scooters have made headlines for catching fire while people are riding them and while the battery is charging.
UL recognizes there is a strong need for hoverboard
certification and will start offering these certification services to
manufactures and distributors. UL already evaluates, tests, and certifies
battery cells, modules, packs, and related battery chargers and power supplies.
UL expert scientists, researchers and engineers have developed requirements
and a specific methodology to confidently evaluate and test hoverboards for
electrical and fire-hazard safety.
Previously, UL certified batteries and chargers used in some
hoverboards, but not the hoverboards themselves. Even when both the battery and
charger are separately certified, that doesn’t necessarily mean they will be
compatible and the results could be a fire because the battery might not be
able to handle the output of the charger.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is investigating hoverboard-related fires and looking for a cause. To reduce the fire risk if you or your child has a hoverboard, keep it away from combustibles when charging, don’t put it under your bed or near wrapping paper.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is investigating hoverboard-related fires and looking for a cause. To reduce the fire risk if you or your child has a hoverboard, keep it “away from combustibles when charging — that means not putting it under your bed or near wrapping paper,” Drengenberg says.
UL and the National Association of State Fire Marshals (NAFSM) advise following these additional precautions when charging or using a hoverboard:
- After you use it, let it cool off before you charge it.
- Don’t leave the hoverboard to charge overnight, and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for charging times.
- Avoid knock-off chargers. Use only the one that came with your hoverboard.
If you’re thinking about buying a hoverboard, the NAFSM suggests buying only from reputable online or local stores that offer warranties. “Avoid buying the product at a location (like a mall kiosk) or on a website that does not have information about who is selling the product and how they can be contacted if there is a problem,” the CPSC advises.
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