Hoverboard exploded into 5-foot flames, mom says

Posted at 10:22 AM, Feb 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-16 23:20:58-05

An Orange Village family said they're shocked after a hoverboard exploded while charging in their basement, sending flames several feet high.

Hallie Abrams' son's hoverboard was charging for about 15 minutes while her other son played video games nearby. He heard it make some weird noises, went over to check it out and luckily, didn't get too close.

"Because it exploded into 5-foot flames," Abrams said, adding that her son quickly grabbed a nearby fire extinguisher and doused the flames before they spread.

The flames even re-ignited before Orange Village fire officials arrived. 

Abrams said her sons, ages 14 and 16, received two hoverboards from their grandparents over the holidays. She said she did her due diligence to make sure they were safe and didn't find any specific recalls affecting the brands they had gotten from Amazon.

"I was more worried they would fall off and break their arm," Abrams said. She said family also made sure never to leave the boards charging overnight. Now, she's frustrated there seems to be a lack of clear regulation.

In January, the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a statement about hoverboards, warning that they could be a fire hazard. They are currently investigating 37 hoverboard fires in 19 states -- plus dozens of injuries from people falling off.

At the time, the agency provided the following tips:

  • Have a working fire extinguisher nearby while charging or using these boards in and around your home.
  • Charge in an open area away from combustible materials.
  • Gear up before riding, which means putting on a skateboard helmet, elbow and knee pads and wrist guards.
  • And, do not use a hoverboard on or near a road.

Many places have taken matters into their own hands. Hoverboards are banned from plenty of college campuses -- including Case Western Reserve University, all airlines and even Quicken Loans Arena. 

The Cavs banned them after some players rode in on them during the NBA Finals, citing safety concerns.