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1st Death due to Hoverboard Fire


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Unfortunate, especially with Amazon's site-wide cleaning of house last year for unauthorized battery hoverboard dealers.


No need to charge unattended though, just buy an outlet timer / programmable outlet, or Hobbyist's Charge Doctor, which will default cutoff charging current at around ~90%:


Woods 50030 Indoor Countdown Timer Outlet

Belkin Conserve Socket Energy-Saving Outlet with Timer


TP-Link Smart Plug Mini

Wemo Mini Smart Plug


Hobbyist's Charge Doctor

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am required to take bi-yearly fire safety courses given by firemen and the first time I took these courses something a fireman said struck me.

"We find children in closets all the time when there's a fire". 

Mostly he meant alive, but he also meant dead and burnt (I talked to him later about this).

You have to train your children to go against instinct and exit the place, and only constant and consistent drills for fire work for that.

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  • 1 month later...

That's a tragic story.  The crappy hoverboards that flooded the market two years ago will plague us for a long time.

A woman in Tucson bought a used one this past week and it caught fire the same day, ruining her house:  "Recently purchased hoverboard blows up, leaves family without a home".  She was luckier than the family in Pennsylvania; her family was away when the fire started.

Until all of those cheap units are recalled or destroyed, they're going to keep catching fire. As the news article mentioned, in 2016 the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced recalls by 10 firms totaling over half a million hoverboards (mostly Swagway brand) but who knows how much unexploded ordnance is out there?  More recalls (1)    (2)   (3)   have followed and the spontaneous fires haven't stopped yet.

CPSC says: "From December 1, 2015, through February 17, 2016, CPSC received reports, from consumers in 24 states, of 52 self-balancing scooter fires resulting in over $2 million in property damage, including the destruction of two homes and an automobile."   We can add one more house to the list this week.

To be clear, these things are catching fire because they are badly built with low quality components including the batteries. Lithium battery devices aren't inherently dangerous, they just have to be designed and built properly.

It sucks that those junk hoverboards are tainting the image of EUCs, but it's even worse that there are equally bad EUC brands out there.  Probably the only reason we haven't had more headlines about flaming EUCs is because hoverboards vastly outnumber them.

As EUC evangelists, we should warn people away from clone brands and others that primarily offer "low price" as their selling point. They're potentially dangerous in many ways: underpowered, poor circuitry that lead to cut-outs, fire prone ... but people will still buy them just because they are cheap.

A few high-profile EUC fires will result in our favorite transportation method being banned or recalled too. As another thread on this forum points out, New York's public transit system has already banned "hoverboards" but the ban really extends to all lithium battery-powered devices. According to the MTA, they're all dangerous (because they can't tell the difference) which means even your better-quality King Song, Gotway, Inmotion, Ninebot, Segway, etc. is going to get swept up in the bans if the fires keep happening.

Maybe we need this slogan:  Friends don't let friends ride cheap wheels!

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