A March 10th Harrisburg city fire caused by a charging hoverboard has prompted a federal investigation. A 3 year old girl, Ashanti Hughes, died as a result of injuries from the fire after being sent to Lehigh Valley burn unit.
According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, the little girl is the first fatality in the US that has been directly linked to a hoverboard fire. However, the commission has investigated dozens of other non-fatal burn injury cases related to exploding hoverboards since 2015. Last summer, 8 models (over 500,000 hoverboards) were recalled because of safety issues with their Chinese-made lithium battery packs overheating.
The commission has determined that most of the hoverboards on the market are unsafe products. Consumers are especially urged to stop using knockoff brands that don’t have UL (formerly Underwriters Laboratories) 2272 fire prevention safety tags. Additionally, hoverboards should never be charged overnight.
Hoverboard owners should check to see if their model has been recalled. For a list of recalled hoverboards, check the safety commission’s list here.
It is unknown if the Harrisburg fire was caused by a recalled model, but an investigation is ongoing.