CPSC Warns To Stop Using LayZ Board Hoverboards Following Fatal House Fire

After a self-balancing “hoverboard” caused a fatal house fire earlier this year, Federal safety officials issued another warning this month that urges consumers to immediately stop charging and stop using any LayZ Board scooters that may still be in homes throughout the U.S., as the lithium-ion battery in the hoverboard may cause the device to suddenly burst into flames.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) released the LayZ Board Hoverboard fire warning on May 1, after evidence linked the product to a tragic fire that occurred in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on March 10, killing two young girls, Ashanti Hughes and Savannah Dominick.

Despite first responder efforts to save the two children, Ashanti Hughes was pronounced dead on the scene and Savannah succumbed to her severe burn injuries just days after. Savannah had reportedly suffered severe first and second degree burns to 95% of her body when she was removed from the fire.

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An investigation was opened by the CPSC and efforts in conjunction with the Harrisburg Fire Department determined the source of the fire was a LayZ Board self-balancing scooter that is believed to have been plugged into a charger as it caught on fire.

In the notice issued last week, consumers are urged to properly recycle any LayZ Board hoverboards due to the risk of fires and burns, asking that the public share the warning with friends and family so that no one else is injured by the device. The LayZ Board hoverboards should be taken to a local recycling center that is equipped for the safe handling of lithium-ion batteries.

Shortly after the Pennsylvania house fire, the CPSC urged consumers to make sure they do not have any recalled hoverboard in their home, as hundreds of thousands of units sold nationwide were removed from the market in July 2016, amid reports of hoverboard battery fires.

Lithium ion batteries, first developed in the 1970s, are small, rechargeable, and long-lasting. And some say they are part of the reason high-end wireless technology can do all that it can do. Some even predict they will eventually drive a successful electric automobile revolution. However, the chemicals used in the battery, which are necessary to make it work, are often highly flammable.

The popularity of inexpensive and foreign produced hoverboards skyrocketed around the 2015 holiday season. However, shortly after the self-balancing scooters were opened on Christmas morning, hundreds of problems were reported involving lithium-ion battery explosions, including reports of burns and property damage.

Although not all hoverboards manufactured with lithium-ion batteries have been deemed dangerous, experts have recognized trends from the overheating reports that all point back to poorly designed lithium-ion batteries that are imported.

Unlike well-constructed lithium-ion batteries that have safeguards preventing surges and overheating risks, many of the imported batteries have been found to become faulty from damage to the battery, high heat exposure, recharging the battery too fast and from charging the battery with aftermarket universal charging cables.

As a result of these causes, the CPSC explains the battery explosions often occur because of short circuits, or when the materials inside the battery ignite due to a chemical process called thermal runaway. In this event, the devices begin to overheat until they reach a point of explosion.

According to the warning notice, the LayZ Board hoverboards responsible for the Pennsylvania house fire were manufactured in Shenzhen, China and were imported into the United States for sale. An estimated 3,000 units were distributed to the U.S. and sold through various online and store retailers.

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