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Hoverboards: Undeniably Cool but are They Safe?

it's all fun and games until the board blows up

Are hoverboards safe? |

Hoverboards or segways may have topped wish lists this past holiday season, yet are they really fit for consumer consumption? That's the question we should be asking after continued reports of the boards spontaneously combusting.

A mall in Texas was recently evacuated after a board blew up at a kiosk.

"We heard what we thought was a bomb," said one witness.

A mall worker put out the fire with an extinguisher, yet the smoke pushed everyone outdoors and caused officials to clear out all hoverboard stock.

The trouble apparently lies with the ion batteries. After numerous fires and injuries reported in the U.S., consumers have been warned not to leave the boards unattended while charging.

Amazon has issued new safety standards, restricting the boards currently sold on its site.

The self-balancing scooters are undoubtedly cool. They look like a prediction come true from Back to the Future. They cost upwards of $400, but that hasn't slowed their popularity with the young and the young at heart alike. Parents who supposedly bought them for their kids enjoyed making fools of themselves, posting videos to social media of themselves in various states of falling off.

Then there was the Filipino priest who made quite the entrance to mass by rolling up the aisle on a hoverboard. His congregation applauded rapturously, but that viral daring do saw him suspended from his position in the Catholic Church.

Even celebrities are fans. Russell Crowe lashed out at Virgin Airlines after his family was denied boarding for carrying hoverboards. Crowe, none too impressed and possibly oblivious to the dangers of hoverboards, went on to slam Virgin on Twitter:

However, Virgin isn't the only airline to ban hoverboards from carry-on and checked luggage. Air Canada, WestJet and three major U.S. airlines have done the same after fires broke out on board.

Have fun - just remember to keep the fire extinguisher handy.

Image Source: YouTube