The London Fire brigade is warning the public that Swegways which are on lots of people’s Christmas list this year can go up in flames!
The problem seems to stem from their popularity and the vast quantity of small ‘one man bands’ who are starting up and selling them on various social media pages etc, often these products come direct from China and DO NOT conform to UK standards.
Sellers are trying to get the lowest price to compete online however these people, companies &/or manufacturers are cutting corners to do so, which might save you a few quid in the short term but long-term could cost you thousands.
Steve Curtler from Electrical Safety First said: ‘People are definitely at risk from what we’ve seen, particularly the charger: There’s no fuse, there’s no protection, so it’s just going to short-circuit, overheat, explode, and catch fire.’
BBC Watchdog investigation found that: the plugs often did not have fuses and could be at risk of overheating, exploding and catching fire.
Things to make them safer
- Only buy ones from trusted sources (e.g. a Ltd company or one that is UK VAT registered) – The original product from Maplins / Currys
- When charging ensure you place them on a surface that is fire proof (e.g. a stone/concrete floor)
- NEVER charge units overnight or when they can’t be supervised
- Get yourself a decent fire extinguiser & improve your house fire precautions
- Make sure electrical appliances have a British or European safety mark when you buy them
Great Scott! 'Hoverboards' cause 2 fires in as many weeks. Our #BackToTheFutureDay warning https://t.co/tV7g63snoC pic.twitter.com/ZyQmDW9KRc— London Fire Brigade (@LondonFire) October 24, 2015
Another hoverboard catches fire while on charge in #Kent. We're campaigning about the risks https://t.co/tV7g63snoC pic.twitter.com/xj837iAERY— London Fire Brigade (@LondonFire) November 3, 2015