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A hoverboard started to emit smoke whilst being used in a child’s bedroom

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Hoverboard crews.jpg
The Fire Service were called as soon as the hoverboard was removed from the property
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How this fire happened

There have been numerous cases reported in the press of hoverboards, or their chargers, overheating which has in some instances lead to fires. One such case is detailed here in our online “Black Museum”.

A member of our staff here at East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service thought that they had taken all the appropriate measures to protect their family’s safety when they bought their son the popular hoverboard toy. They took time to research their choice of product and ensured they followed the advice below:

  • They purchased the hoverboard from a reputable UK website retailer
  • They ensured the product had a UK 3 pin plug fitted
  • They checked that all of the relevant safety markings were genuine

They also took the added precaution of purchasing a small fire extinguisher and trained their son to use it in case of an emergency. 

Despite all these precautions, one day whilst being used by their son in his bedroom, the hoverboard overheated and started to smoke. The device was rapidly removed from the house and the fire service were quickly called, however, this incident could all too easily have been so much more serious if for example, this had happened at night when the family were asleep. 

Occupants Impact Statement and Message

‘Our son really wanted one of the hoverboards that all his friends had. We were aware that there had been some fires involving hoverboards so we have a small fire extinguisher which was kept wherever the hoverboard was, and we taught my son how to use it just in case. We also told him not to charge it unless we were in the house. We bought it from a reputable internet company.

My son was on the hoverboard upstairs in his bedroom when he shouted for help.  My husband ran upstairs just as my son had pulled the pin on the extinguisher whilst smoke was coming out of the wheel of the hoverboard.  My husband picked it up and threw it in the garden. It continued to smoke and we thought it may explode. We called 999 and the fire crews came out to deal with it.’ 

Safety message

Don't let the idea of owning a hoverboard go up in smoke - be aware of the risk of fire.As well as the advice which our colleague followed above, please consider the following: 

  • Watch the press and trading standards websites for product safety messages and recalls.
  • Never leave hoverboards charging overnight or when you are out. 
  • Only use the charger that was supplied with the product. 
  • Stop using your hoverboard immediately if it begins to overheat. 
  • Ensure that your home is fitted with sufficient smoke alarms which are kept tested and maintained.
  • Ensure that you and your family know what to do in case of fire and that you have an emergency plan which includes alternative escape routes, not having to search for keys or alternative phones.  

Further information

Further safety advice can be found on the Electrical Safety First website

Do you have a similar story?

We would be interested to hear from you if you have had a similar experience to the fire detailed above, or would like to raise any related matters or even just generally comment on how useful you found our Black Museum.

Please send us your details and a comments via our on-line feedback form.


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Latest Update :
23 October 2020
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