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  1. ITV Report

Thinking of buying a hoverboard this Christmas? You better read this

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Fifty hoverboards imported from China have been seized at Heathrow Airport after they were found to pose a fire risk.

The self-balancing boards are expected to be one of the most sought after Christmas presents this year but customers are being warned of the potential risk of them exploding and causing fires.

The warning comes after 15,000 of the boards were seized in just one month by Trading Standards officers around the country.

A total of 17,000 hoverboards were seized at the border with almost nine in ten of them (88%) found to be unsafe.

Officers say they have seen a "huge spike" in the number of boards arriving into the country in recent weeks as Christmas spending gets underway.

Many of the boards have poor electrics or noncompliant plugs without fuses, which increases the risk of the device overheating, exploding or catching fire.

Credit: London Fire Brigade

In October, two men escaped from a house fire in Morden, south west London after a hoverboard which was charging caught fire.

The men escaped via a first floor window after becoming worried when they heard a loud a ‘banging’ noise.

Another of the boards exploded and caught fire in a home in High Wycombe.

  • Be wary of bargains on boards and prices that seem too good to be true.
  • Look at the shape of the plug - the first unsafe products identified often had a clover-shaped plug.
  • Check for markings or traceable information, such as the manufacturer and importer.

Hoverboards might be the 'must –have' present this Christmas but we have serious concerns that some products on sale which are non compliant, could be unsafe and pose a fire risk.

We'd recommend using the National Trading Standards product safety checklist and keeping an eye on the Electrical Safety First's recall list.

– Charlie Pugsley, Head of Fire Investigation at London Fire Brigade