Firefighters are warning that the hugely popular “hoverboard” scooters can blow up while charging, burning down houses and endangering those inside of them.
Another incident where a house was left destroyed by one of the charging scooters has led to another warning by fire brigades not to leave the gadgets charging overnight.
The concerns have been prompted by the questionable build of many of the scooters, a large number of which are being imported after the trend took off and just ahead of Christmas.
But one man who thought he would get his grandchildren some of the gadgets described how charging it caused a fire that brought huge damage to his house.
Paul Hodkinson from Kent bought some of the scooters for his grandchildren, ahead of Christmas. But when was left charging in the kitchen, it caught fire “like a bomb” and caused a fire that ripped through the kitchen, causing £250,000 worth of damage.
An investigation by the BBC’s Watchdog programme found that many of the boards were being supplied with non-standard plugs. Many of those plugs don’t have fuses and so could overheat, leading them to explode or catch fire.
The London Fire Brigade said that it has investigated a number of similar fires, mostly caused when hoverboards are left charging overnight. People have described hearing a loud bang and being forced to leave their house to escape from the blaze.
As well as warnings from fire brigades, the police have also warned that the hoverboards are illegal to use in most places apart from private land.