Hoverboard sparks house fire in Australia

January 5, 2016

An Australian family home was gutted when a hoverboard caught fire as it was charging, officials said Tuesday.

Authorities said the hoverboard—a Christmas gift—was plugged into the wall in a young girl's bedroom in Melbourne when it ignited.

The family were able to escape after a alerted them to the danger but the house was severely damaged.

Hoverboards—in reality self-balancing electric scooters—have surged in popularity and are now selling in Australia for as little as Aus$200 (US$150).

But concerns have arisen about the hazard they pose for street or sidewalk traffic, safety issues for riders, and reports that some poorly designed chargers can lead to fires.

In December the Australian consumer watchdog said it had two safety concerns with the products—fires that have occurred overseas from the faulty design of some hoverboard chargers and user injuries by falls.

Hollywood star Russell Crowe was recently blocked from taking a hoverboard on a Virgin Australia flight, while several other airlines do not allow them.

The girl's father, Ash Ibraheim, said he had made sure the hoverboards he bought three of his four daughters for Christmas met Australian standards.

"We heard there were a lot of imported versions that weren't complying, so we wanted to make sure we got the right thing," he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

He said he was grateful that the fire, which was sparked about 10 minutes after the board had been plugged in to charge, did not start when the were sleeping.

"By the time the fire brigade came the whole house was on ," he said.

Explore further: Lexus unveils smoking hoverboard, uses magnetic levitation

Related Stories

Lexus unveils smoking hoverboard, uses magnetic levitation

June 24, 2015

Meet the Lexus version of a hoverboard, a moving board of sorts with a magical look. This is the Slide hoverboard, the fourth project in the company's Amazing in Motion campaign. And what a way to brand. The Lexus hoverboard ...

Amazon UK urges customers to throw away hoverboards

December 16, 2015

The British branch of online retailer Amazon on Wednesday urged customers to throw away defective "hoverboards", two-wheeled scooters that have become a craze ahead of the Christmas season.

Recommended for you

Inferring urban travel patterns from cellphone data

August 29, 2016

In making decisions about infrastructure development and resource allocation, city planners rely on models of how people move through their cities, on foot, in cars, and on public transportation. Those models are largely ...

How machine learning can help with voice disorders

August 29, 2016

There's no human instinct more basic than speech, and yet, for many people, talking can be taxing. 1 in 14 working-age Americans suffer from voice disorders that are often associated with abnormal vocal behaviors - some of ...

Sponge creates steam using ambient sunlight

August 22, 2016

How do you boil water? Eschewing the traditional kettle and flame, MIT engineers have invented a bubble-wrapped, sponge-like device that soaks up natural sunlight and heats water to boiling temperatures, generating steam ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.