In this article we take a look at safety tips when choosing a hoverboard.
The self-balancing scooter or “hoverboards” quickly gained popularity when it came out in 2015. This two-wheeled skateboard-like transport device was indeed an amazing product ever invented. What’s great about these scooters is that it allows the rider to move around and control it without any handles at all.
Soon after the hoverboard was introduced to the market, it quickly became a craze worldwide, which made people rush to the store to get one. This was in part, thanks to the many celebrities who endorsed these scooters as they use it.
Sadly, complaints about exploding batteries and questions about the safety began to pop-up. Residential fire, injuries, and casualties caused by overheated Lithium Ion batteries raised serious concerns about the safety of consumers.
Safety Tips When Choosing A Hoverboard & The Risks
Are you thinking of buying a hoverboard anytime soon? With so many choices available in the market today, you may have to do your homework first. Safety should be the first thing to consider if you want to get one.
We have listed a few tips here which you might find useful when choosing for the best hoverboard for you:
Check for Safety Certifications
Despite its popularity, hoverboards gained a bad reputation for safety risks. Complaints about overheating batteries began to mount causing fire and even death. The Consumer Product Safety Commission reported more than USD 2 million damages on properties from December of 2015 to February of 2016 all related to hoverboards.
These tragic events were attributed to substandard Lithium Ion batteries which had overheated while being charged.
To address the risk with these scooters, the government has implemented drastic measures to prevent more damages or casualties it may bring in the future. In order to protect the public from risks of getting hurt or killed due to these hoverboards, the CPSC came up with a list of brands that are potentially hazardous. A warning was also issued to advise consumers to stop charging and using these hoverboards because of the risk.
To help you choose which products are safe, Underwriters Laboratories (UL) has tested and certified a few hoverboards which do not pose any danger to its consumers. UL, by the way, provides safety testing and certification for companies and approved by the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). UL2772 is the certification issued by UL for personal e-Mobility devices such as the hoverboard. If you want to be sure about the safety, we highly recommend looking for the UL mark on its packaging. This should show a holographic label from UL. You should also see a UL mark at the bottom of your hoverboard.
You can also check out their website https://www.ul.com/hoverboards/ if you want to know more about UL2722 certification.
Choose on functionality
There are different types of self-balancing scooters nowadays. Typically, these scooters run on 2 wheels with a footboard for control. As you check the types, you may discover other scooters which may be totally different in their designs and functions.
The typical 2 wheel hoverboards
These were the first hoverboard designs that came out. The scooter has two wheels and a foot pad. To operate, you just lean forward to go faster or backward to slow down. Twist the foot pad left or right to turn.
There is another type of self-balancing scooter which is available on the market today. Although it only has a wheel to run, the functionality compared to the 2 wheel type is almost the same. The price of these scooters may be a bit higher than that of the two wheels.
If you want to get more out of a self-balancing scooter, you can check out the type which also has 2 wheels but comes with a knee control bar. This was developed and sold by one of the top brands in the hoverboard industry.
Personal Safety When Using A Hoverboard
Safety for Kids
Hoverboards were designed as a personal transporter and require balance to operate. If you are buying these scooters for your kids, you need to be sure that they will be safe as they go. Not all hoverboards are appropriate for children. If you are buying the best one for your kid, consider the following safety measures as well:
- Choose hoverboards with wheels measuring 6.5 inches or maybe smaller. These scooters are easier to manoeuvre and lighter to carry.
- Make sure that the one you choose for your kid is certified for safety.
- Although it is recommended that the child be at least 8 years old to ride a hoverboard, it would be better if you would consider other factors such as the weight, ability to balance, coordination, etc.
- Safety gears are very important for kids. A helmet should be the minimum whenever they would use their hoverboards. It is also highly recommended that they wear other protective clothing such as safety pads to cover their knees and elbows.
- Always monitor your kids whenever they use their scooters. This way, your kids are guided to avoid accidents and be there in case something happens and they need your help.
Hoverboard Safety for Adults
If you are getting one of these scooters for yourself, keeping safe is very important as well.
- Ensure that the scooter you’re buying has the relevant certification. As what we keep saying, poor quality hoverboards can really pose a threat to lives and properties.
- Wear a helmet. Just like any other transport devices, a helmet can save from serious injury in case of a fall.
- Check the manual to know more about the safety measures of their scooters. Factors such as the rider’s age, weight, etc should be taken into consideration
Whether you are buying a hoverboard for yourself or as a gift for your kids, try to shop around first and research about the different options out there. With so many designs and features, deciding which product to choose would be really hard. Also, keep in mind the safety of yourself or your children by checking if the scooter is guaranteed to be tested and safe. A UL2722 mark on the packaging would be your best bet when you want to be safe.