Hoverboards on fire this Christmas

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Image: YouTube | Jared Mecham

It’s the present you might want to re-think about having under your Christmas tree—or in your checked luggage—as you fly away on holidays.

Self-balancing scooters, commonly referred to as hoverboards, are being touted as this year’s ‘must-have’ Christmas present, with the device already prevalent throughout Asia and North America.

However, there have been some reports of the hoverboard’s lithium battery overheating and sparking fire, leading consumer advocacy group Choice to warn consumers of their potential danger.

‘Following a number of fires overseas, Choice has issued a warning to owners of self-balancing scooters or hoverboards to ensure they don’t overcharge the units.

‘Some hoverboards carry warnings about overcharging in their manuals, and it’s important to ensure you charge the device as directed.’

The hoverboard is also causing airlines to review their policies on the carriage of these devices, with Australian airlines conducting their own risk assessments and developing guidance material for their passengers.

Meanwhile, the International Air Transport Association is recommending that ‘operators restrict these devices to carry-on luggage.’

If you really do want to travel with these devices, you should contact your airline well before the date of travel to ensure you comply with its policies and CASA’s dangerous goods safety regulations.

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