Hoverboard Safety – Key to Purchase and Use

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Provided by Prince William County Fire & Rescue

Prince William County Seal

Hoverboards have become a hot item this year, taking the nation by storm, and will surely be a hot ticket item on many a holiday wish list. But before you head out to the store, or click “confirm purchase” on your tablet, the Prince William County Fire Marshal’s Office advises buyers to carefully research the product and its manufacturer due to reports of injuries and fires involved with these devices. PWL Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue Chief Kevin McGee, in conjunction with the Fire Marshal’s Office, suggest the following safety tips for its use, care, and maintenance to ensure everyone has a safe and merry holiday.

When shopping for a self-balancing scooter or hoverboard:

  • Take the time to look at and research the product before you purchase
    • Check for compliance with federal standards, inspections, and certifications. It will have a mark on it or indicate such on its packaging, on the device, or on its charging equipment to indicate it has been tested and meets minimum safety standards.
      • Devices without this mark of compliance likely have not been tested to meet safety standards.
  • When buying online, take time to verify the device meets applicable inspection and safety standards.
  • If possible, purchase the device in person from a brick and mortar store; if buying online be sure it is from a reputable source.
    • Be sure to purchase a warranty for the device.
    • Check with your retailer, regarding the safety of the device you are purchasing.

When charging your self-balancing scooter or hoverboard:

  • After its use, give the device time to cool down prior to charging.
  • DO NOT leave the device unattended while it is charging.
  • DO NOT overcharge the device; follow the manufacturer’s recommended charging times and do not leave the device plugged in overnight.
  • Use the manufacturers’ recommended electrical chargers; DO NOT use imitation chargers as they may be unsafe.
  • Keep to one plug per socket.


When operating your self-balancing scooter or hoverboard:

  • Wear appropriate safety equipment; similar to when riding a bicycle.
  • DO NOT text or operate a cell phone while in use.
  • Operate the device in accordance with its intended use.
  • Overheating – if you notice the device is very hot, stop using it and check with your manufacturer or retailer.
    • This could suggest a faulty battery that needs replacing.

As more details become available and research is conducted into these incidents, Prince William County Fire Marshals will work to help keep you informed. If you should have any fire-related incidents regarding these devices, please contact the Prince William County Fire Marshal’s Office at 703-792-6360.

Have a safe holiday season.



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