October 1st, 2016

Fake hoverboards spark safety warnings

Fake hoverboards spark safety warnings Fake hoverboards spark safety warnings
Updated: 1:55 pm, Dec 18, 2015

MANY OF us may fancy ourselves the next Marty McFly, but Solihull residents are being warned of the hidden dangers of buying illegally imported hoverboards.

After intercepting a batch of unsafe ‘balance boards’ at Birmingham Airport, the Solihull Council Trading Standards team are urging people to stay safe by buying the boards from reputable retailers.

The electrically unsafe fakes, while extremely popular to unwitting buyers, have been the cause of a series of well-publicised fires.

And with Christmas approaching, the Trading Standards team want to ensure consumers and businesses know what to look for to avoid buying or selling dangerous products.

If you believe unsafe products are being sold in Solihull, contact Solihull Trading Standards via Citizens Advice on 03454 04 05 06.

Check for:

  • No CE marking – the CE mark represents a declaration by the manufacturer that the item conforms to European legislation (and therefore should be safe)
  • Incomprehensible instruction leaflet – could deny user the safe operation of a scooter if they can’t understand the instructions.
  • Incorrect plugs – some do not have a fuse, some are too small so that the live pins may be touched by the user when extracting the plug from the socket, causing electrocution
  • Batteries – some batteries have been reported as overheating on charging and creating a fire
  • Indications that a ‘balance board’ could be used by children – due to their claimed speed (some can go too fast) and voltage of the battery, these items are potentially dangerous if used by children (they don’t comply with the Toys (Safety) Regs, which lays down rules as to the above).
  • No identification details – so it would be difficult to trace the manufacturer/importer of the goods
  • No warning notices on the boards – so no reminders on their safe use (such as to wear a helmet)

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