Hoverboard fires and falls pose danger to users

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – One of the hottest holiday toys is literally catching fire.

Hoverboards are at the top of a lot of people’s must-have lists this year.

But recent incidents are calling their safety into question.

Just a few days before Thanksgiving, Jessica Horne lost everything after a hoverboard burst into flames.

“And before I could yell the house is on fire, the middle part of the board that would go in between your feet just ‘poof’ and into flames,” Horne said.

No one was hurt in that fire but Horne is trying to raise money to replace everything she lost.

A more common issue with hoverboards isn’t fire but falls.

The Consumer Product Safety Commision said it has received 20 reports in the last three months of people being injured on hoverboards.

A spokeswoman for the agency said it is looking into the product as a whole.

WakeMed’s Dr. Amy Griffin is ready in case falls from a hoverboard send children to the hospital.

“The center of gravity is very low, so that’s going to lead to a lot of falls,” Griffin said.

Riding a hoverboard can take a little time to get used to.

But once you do, you can start to go at a pretty decent speed. However, if you’re concerned about safety, you can lower the maximum speed on some of these models to around five miles an hour.

Griffin said even though she has concerns, don’t necessarily cross hoverboards off your gift list.

“I think these are fine for teenagers. I don’t think less than 11 or 12 is probably appropriate,” she said. “I think the most important thing is that when people ride these, they should use proper equipment. So, use a helmet. Use elbow pads. Use wrist guards.”

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