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Monday, 7 December 2015


Back To The Future: Buying someone a hoverboard for Christmas? Careful, it might explode

Trading Standards have seized more than 15,000 swegways - tipped to be one of Christmas 2015’s hot gifts - at UK ports and borders after fears they could explode.

National Trading Standards (NTS) said 15,000 of the 17,000 self-balancing scooters - which are known as swegways or hoverboards - examined in the past few months have been seized.

A lot of them have unsafe electrical components that could explode or catch fire. Yes, actually burst into flames - not the best Christmas present for kids.

One of the unsafe hoverboards being bought online ended up in Deal in Kent, where it burst into flames while charging and caused over £25,000 worth of damage to its new owner’s kitchen.

Consumer Minister Nick Boles said: “Shoppers should think twice before choosing products from a site that does not appear genuine, and the checklist that National Trading Standards has produced is extremely useful.

“I urge anyone who suspects a hoverboard not to be genuine to report it to the Citizens Advice consumer helpline.”

How do I know the hoverboard I am buying is safe?

Follow this advice and double check the NTS checklist to help you buy a safe hoverboard

*Check that the three pin plug on the device states it is made to BS 1363

*Don’t buy a hoverboard with any information missing

*Don’t implicitly trust the CE marking - there are some dangerous ones with fake markings

*Don’t leave the device charging unattended, especially overnight, when you get it

*Check the plug has a fuse and is NOT a clover shape

*Check for online reviews that seem genuine and for information about the company’s head office and landline number. Sites that have spelling or grammar mistakes, including in the small print, can be an indication that it is not a professional operation

And finally, never be dazzled by a bargain. If the price is too good to be true, it probably is.

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