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Pocatello Fire Department issues warning about hoverboards

One of the must-have gifts for 2015 is earning an extra set of warnings from the Pocatello Fire Department and the State of Idaho Department of Insurance.

Hoverboards, while popular, have also reportedly been catching fire while charging and in use according to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission.

In a statement December 16, U.S. CPSC Chairman Elliot F. Kaye said, “CPSC field investigators are actively investigating hoverboard-related fires across the country and will open new cases as they come to our attention. We have purchased boards in the marketplace and we have taken possession of boards that caught fire.”

“We want to make sure Pocatello residents know these products can be dangerous,” said Pocatello Fire Chief David Gates. “We don’t want this typically happy time of year to end in tragedy for someone.”

In response to recent incidents, the State of Idaho’s Department of Insurance is offering these tips:

When shopping for a hoverboard:

Research the product before you buy – devices that have been tested to meet minimum safety standards will be clearly marked on the packaging, on the device itself, or on its charging equipment.
Verify safety standards of items purchased online – many may not meet this country’s inspection and safety requirements.
Purchase a device with a warranty or buy it in person at a brick and mortar store.

When charging your hoverboard:

Allow the device time to cool off after use and prior to charging.
Never leave the device unattended while it is charging.
Do not overcharge the device – follow manufacturer’s recommended charging times; do not leave the device plugged into an outlet overnight.
Do not use imitation electrical chargers – they may be unsafe.
Plug in only one device per outlet.

When operating your hoverboard:

Wear appropriate safety equipment – similar to bicycle safety equipment.
Do not text or operate a cell phone while using a hoverboard.
Operate the device in accordance with its intended use.
If the device becomes very hot, discontinue use and check with the manufacturer or retailer – this could be a sign of a faulty battery that needs replacing

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