Hoverboards were one of the most popular gifts of the holiday
season but have come under recent scrutiny due to a number of
incidents in which they have caught fire while charging or while in
Hoverboards are powered by rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.
Historically, lithium-ion batteries have had fire-related problems
in laptops, cell phones and electrical systems in airplanes. They
have been known to burst into flames when recharging and sometimes
while in use.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is investigating over 40
reported hoverboard fires that have occurred across 19 states,
including Illinois. Most of these fires begin with a charging
hoverboard igniting. Observers often report that a “pop” or “bang”
noise accompanies the start of the fire. Some have destroyed homes
and all have put people and property at risk. In one incident in Fox
River Grove, Illinois, a battery pack reportedly overheated and
exploded around 4:45 in the morning. Fortunately, the residents had
a working fire extinguisher in their home and were able to put out
the blaze before exiting and calling 911.
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The Office of the State Fire Marshal advises Illinoisans to closely follow
manufacturer instructions for charging the batteries. Charging should occur
under supervision and away from combustible materials. Do not charge a
hoverboard overnight or when you are not able to observe the board.
Furthermore, avoid buying hoverboards at unauthorized locations or websites that
do not have information about who is selling the product and how they can be
contacted if there is a problem. While this does not rule out counterfeits, the
absence of such a mark means your safety is likely not a priority for that
For more information see the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website at
[Office of the State Fire Marshal