Beware ex­plod­ing ‘Hov­er­boards’

Trad­ing stan­dards warns shop­pers to be vig­i­lant af­ter a mother is hurt by ex­plod­ing gad­get

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - by Jack Abell jack.abell@trin­i­tymir­ Twit­ter: @jack­_84_a­bell

TRAD­ING Stan­dards of­fi­cers in Bucks have cracked down on the sale of dan­ger­ous “hov­er­boards” af­ter a mother was hurt when her son’s board ex­ploded.

Buck­ing­hamshire and Sur­rey Trad­ing Stan­dards in­ter­cepted a £7,000 con­sign­ment of 51 self bal­anc­ing boards im­ported from China and sent them for test­ing to see if they com­plied with elec­tri­cal safety stan­dards.

They will now en­sure the boards, also known as self bal­anc­ing scoot­ers or bal­ance boards, can never be used by the pub­lic af­ter checks showed that charg­ers and bat­tery packs sup­plied with the prod­ucts posed a fire risk.

An­other con­sign­ment of 90 boards has been im­pounded while of­fi­cers check they are safe. They will be re­leased to the mar­ket only if they meet all re­quired stan­dards.

The seizures come af­ter a self bal­anc­ing board ex­ploded and caught fire at a fam­ily home in High Wy­combe last month.

Trad­ing stan­dards of­fi­cers are in­ves­ti­gat­ing the case in which Joann Ensell sus­tained burns when the board be­long­ing to her 10-year-old son Henry ex­ploded and caught fire.

Henry’s fa­ther David Ensell, said it had been taken off charge and was on the floor when it sud­denly ex­ploded.

His wife is now re­cov­er­ing from her in­juries. He said: “We bought it from a rep­utable re­tailer, and my ad­vice is al­ways to use a rep­utable re­tailer, fol­low the op­er­at­ing in­struc­tions, which we did, but al­ways to take ex­tra pre­cau­tions be­cause things can do go wrong, as we found out.”

Trad­ing Stan­dards of­fi­cers have sent Henry’s charred board for in­ves­ti­ga­tion at a test lab­o­ra­tory.

The con­sign­ment seized by trad­ing stan­dards of­fi­cers was brought into the coun­try through Heathrow and sent to an in­spec­tion point in Sur­rey where of­fi­cers spot­ted pos­si­ble safety risks.

The boards have surged in pop­u­lar­ity in re­cent months and are ex­pected to be one of the big­gest sell­ing gad­gets this Christ­mas. But re­ports have emerged of poor qual­ity ver­sions that lack proper safety func­tions.

Shop­pers are now be­ing urged to be on their guard when buy­ing a board.

Cus­tomers are ad­vised to be wary of bar­gain boards, to look at the shape of the plug and to check for mark­ing or trace­able in­for­ma­tion such as the man­u­fac­turer or im­porter.

DAN­GER­OUS: The burned board with Trad­ing Stan­dards Of­fi­cer Tim Day

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