Fire­fight­ers echo safety fears of hov­er­boards

Rutherglen Reformer - - News -

Fire fight­ers in Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang have re­it­er­ated warn­ings about buy­ing hov­er­boards this Christ­mas.

Last week, Trad­ing Stan­dards’is­sued ad­vice af­ter a huge num­ber of the self-bal­anc­ing scoot­ers im­ported from abroad were as­sessed as un­safe and de­tained at the border.

Con­cerns in­clude sig­nif­i­cant safety is­sues with plugs, ca­bling, charg­ers and bat­ter­ies as well as with cut-off switches meant to pre­vent the de­vices over­heat­ing.

As­sis­tant Chief Of­fi­cer Lewis Ram­say, the Scot­tish Fire and Res­cue Ser­vice di­rec­tor of preven­tion and pro­tec­tion, said: “Elec­tri­cal items con­tain­ing flaws of this kind pose a se­ri­ous fire risk so it’s im­por­tant peo­ple are vig­i­lant and heed the ex­cel­lent ad­vice from Trad­ing Stan­dards.

“We understand many of th­ese de­vices will have been bought as Christ­mas gifts and so peo­ple may be tempted to think the safety is­sues won’t ac­tu­ally re­sult in a fire hap­pen­ing to them. That really could be fa­tal mis­take.”

“A fire in the home can be ab­so­lutely dev­as­tat­ing and sadly there is of­ten a peak in house fires over the win­ter hol­i­day pe­riod.

“Elec­tri­cal items are one of the fac­tors we know con­trib­ute to this rise and if peo­ple do have hov­er­boards that don’t meet the re­quired stan­dards then they are putting them­selves and oth­ers in dan­ger.”

Some hov­er­boards have been known to come sup­plied with plugs that are not de­signed for use in Bri­tain – th­ese plugs do not have fuses and are at risk of over­heat­ing.

The fuse is an es­sen­tial safety fea­ture that will ‘blow’if an ap­pli­ance de­vel­ops a fault, cut­ting off the elec­tric­ity. With­out a fuse, or if the wrong fuse is fit­ted, the re­sult could be a fire that dev­as­tates a home and threat­ens lives.

Any­one who has pur­chased a hov­er­board should have re­ceived in­struc­tions with the de­vice, de­tail­ing which fuse should be present in the plug and the ad­vice from SFRS is to make sure the cor­rect fuse is present.

Peo­ple should also check the volt­age of prod­ucts is 230V, 50Hz (the UK’s usual do­mes­tic volt­age) and that they are fit­ted with a three-pin UK plug or charger that is marked as con­form­ing to Bri­tish Stan­dard BS 1363.

Un­safe elec­tri­cal de­vices are just one of many po­ten­tial fire haz­ards in the home and SFRS is clear peo­ple need to con­sider the risks and take small steps to pre­vent fes­tive tragedies.

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