Tips to use hoverboard safely

Independent product testing company aims to define hoverboard safety


MIAMI – After Chinese factories flooded the market with two-wheeled hoverboards that busted into flames, manufacturers, importers and retailers faced a safety challenge.

A group of engineers is trying to fix that. 

Underwriters Laboratories, an independent product testing company, developed a new safety standard and a "UL mark" certification for the trendy gadget.

John Drengenberg, consumer safety director at Underwriters Laboratories, said it is possible to reduce the risks  of using a hoverboard with a few safety tips. 

1. Check if the hoverboard you are buying is UL-certified with the UL holographic certification label. The Jetson and the Vecaro are among the brands that released a UL-certified version of the hoverboard in August.

2. Keep the hoverboard away from flammable materials while it is charging. 

"Lithium-ion technology is of critical nature," Drengenberg said. "If something malfunctions it will overheat."

3. Follow the manufacturer's recommended charging times. 

"Don't charge it overnight," Drengenberg said. 

4. Use only the charger that the manufacturer included with the hoverboard.

"You might think that they are just trying to get your business," Drengenberg said. "The fact is that it's a safety consideration related to the right voltage."

5. Do not use the hoverboard with it is raining and don't go through puddles. 

6. Clean it with a damp rag. Do not submerge it in water. 

7. Follow the manufacturer-recommended safety guidelines including wearing the recommended protective gear. 

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