Fire Risk Warning After Vlogger Films Hoverboard Bursting Into Flames

Legal Experts Urge Users To Exercise Caution


Kate Rawlings, Press Officer | 0114 274 4238

Product liability specialists are urging hoverboard owners to exercise caution after a British vlogger filming a test run of his new device, saw it explode into flames.

YouTube video blogger, Stephen Leenott, who uses the moniker BuleBritish, charged the hoverboard which he had bought new from eBay, before attempting a maiden voyage the following morning.

When he first attempted to start the device, also known as a swegway or e-board, it did nothing and appeared to be dead.

The footage shows Mr Leenot tilting the device in an attempt to start it which caused it to emit a hissing sound.

Shortly after, it began smoking and burst into flames causing him to leap to safety to avoid injury.

Luckily the test run was undertaken outside. Otherwise the fire could have had serious consequences, as seen in several other house-fires caused by hoverboards.

The vlogger is seen trying to pour water on to the board to put out the flames.

MrLeenott said: “Don’t use water on electrical fires. This was not planned. My first thought was to run and fill the kettle to pour cold water on it. Why? I don’t know, it’s a fire. Put water on it was my first reaction.”

Although the cause of the fire is unknown, the boards contain lithium batteries, which can explode if not safely configured, and poorly constructed motors and wiring could have contributed to the fire.

Due to a high demand of hoverboards it has been reported that cheaper devices from China have flooded the UK market. Concerns have been raised that many of these products don’t meet British safety standards.

Such concerns prompted warnings from Trading Standards who have impounded thousands of devices at UK ports.

They are also illegal to ride on public pavements or roads in the UK.

In December it was reported that internet giant Amazon John Lewis and Argos were amongst major retailers who stopped selling hoverboards after reports emerged regarding their safety.

Associate solicitor and product liability specialist at Irwin Mitchell, Tim Annett, said consumers needed to exercise extreme caution when purchasing and using a hoverboard.

Our specialist personal injury solicitors will provide you with free initial advice on your compensation claim if you have suffered as the result of a defective or faulty hoverboard. View our Faulty Hoverboard Claims page for more information.

Expert Opinion
Hoverboards have proved extremely popular with the public and were one of the must-have Christmas presents that shoppers wanted to buy at the end of 2015.

We warned people about our concerns over their safety after a high percentage were found to have potentially dangerous faults and this video has promoted us to re-issue that warning.

The footage in this video is very alarming as the user had a foot on the board when it burst into flames and was lucky to escape unharmed.

It doesn’t bear thinking about the damage it could have caused if that had happened inside a property.

Electrical faults could lead to serious injury not to mention property damage given the risk of fire.

Consumers need to be aware of the risks. When buying a hoverboard shoppers need to make sure they have thoroughly researched safety requirements.
Tim Annett, Partner