Hoverboards were the holiday season's hottest gifts. But, they were so hot that they were catching fire, burning down houses and are so dangerous that Amazon is refunding anyone who bought a faulty model.
Now, two teens are happy to have escaped with their lives, amazingly only suffering minor injuries after a FITURBO F1 hoverboard burned down their $1 million home.
At first, the two teens, Hailey, 16, and Matthew, 14, heard loud noises downstairs and thought it was an intruder so they hid in a bedroom. Those noises turned out to be the hoverboard's lithium batteries exploding and setting the house on fire.
Minutes later, Matthew burned his hand on the door knob trying to leave the room they were hiding in. He ended up breaking the bedroom window and escaped down a ladder that his father, Brian Fox, had retrieved after he caught his daughter who jumped from the bathroom window.
Take a look at the damage to get an idea of just how bad the blaze really was:
But here's the kicker. The family had bought the hoverboard for their son as a Christmas gift. They decided on the FITURBO F1 hoverboard, based on friends' recommendations. Those friends who recommended it? Theirs caught fire too, also caused by the faulty battery, although it was a minor fire with no major damage to report.
According to the Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office, it's the first house fire caused by a hoverboard in the state, and because of the board's rising popularity, it is urging consumers to follow the following hoverboard safety tips:
- Use extreme caution when purchasing a hoverboard; do the research and make sure they meet safety standards.
- NEVER leave the board unattended while charging; this includes overnight.
- ALWAYS use the manufacturer-supplied charger.
- DO NOT overcharge the device and follow the manufacturer's recommended charging times.
- Use only one plug per electrical socket when charging
- If the board gets hot, stop using it immediately and check with your manufacturer or retailer and see if it's a faulty battery that needs replacing.
And remember, riding a hoverboard can be dangerous, too. They are responsible for a rising number of hospital visits for falls. So when riding:
- Wear appropriate safety equipment; similar to when riding a bicycle.
- Do not text or operate a cellphone while using a self-balancing scooter or hoverboard.
- Operate the device in accordance with its intended use.