Warning over potentially dangerous hoverboards

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Residents are being warned about a potentially dangerous Christmas present.

North Tyneside Council’s trading standards team is helping to ensure that faulty hoverboards are not bought by borough residents this Christmas.

Thousands of the self-balancing scooters have been seized nationally because of safety issues that increase the risk of the product overheating, exploding or catching fire.

In North Tyneside, the trading standards team is visiting retailers to ensure that no faulty products are being stocked.

To date, none have been found.

A Forest Hall man has reported that he bought a faulty hoverboard for £240 online. The plug was the incorrect size, unfused and not British Standard marked – making it unsafe, leading to possible electrocution and fire.

The item also had no markings, breaching the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994.

Consumers are advised to check that the three pin plug on the device states it is made to BS 1363 – the product should not be bought if this information is missing. They should also:

• Never leave the device charging unattended, especially overnight. A faulty cut-off switch or plug without a fuse - seen in many of the seized boards - could lead to it overheating, exploding or catching fire.

• Check the shape of the plug. The first unsafe boards identified often had a clover-shaped plug.

• Check for online reviews that seem genuine and for information about the company’s head office and landline number. Sites that have spelling or grammar mistakes, including in the small print, can be an indication that it is not a professional operation.

• Never be dazzled by a bargain. If the price is too good to be true, it probably is.

If residents have concerns about a hoverboard, they should contact Citizens Advice on 03454 040 506.

The trading standards service is delivered for North Tyneside Council by its partner Capita.