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Press Statement from U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle Regarding Hoverboards and the Harrisburg House Fire

“My thoughts and prayers are with the two children, Ashanti and Savannah, who were lost in this tragic fire as well as their families. Another child is still in the hospital and I hope she is able to recover from her injuries. 

CPSC staff is conducting a priority investigation into this tragedy. Our investigators are actively working to follow up on the report that the fire, as indicated by the Harrisburg Fire Department, was started by a self-balancing scooter/hoverboard. A CPSC field investigator is working closely with officials from the fire department. We very much appreciate their cooperation. 

An important part of our investigation is determining the make and model of the hoverboard. We want to know whether the hoverboard was a previously recalled model or a different model that would need further analysis by CPSC technical staff.

I urge consumers who own a hoverboard to check to see if it has been recalled. Consumers should know that last year’s recall of more than 500,000 hoverboards by 11 different companies is still active. It is not too late for consumers to receive a refund or replacement battery, depending upon the hoverboard company.

If a consumer is looking to buy a hoverboard today, whether online or in a store, they should look for a mark or other indication that the product meets the Underwriters Laboratories standard UL 2272. The standard aims to prevent the battery and electrical components in a hoverboard from overheating and catching fire. CPSC has been very engaged with UL, battery manufacturers and other stakeholders since the start of our product-wide investigation in the fall of 2015. Since 2015, CPSC staff has investigated more than 60 fires and tested dozens of self-balancing boards in our laboratory.

Please follow the safety tips CPSC has for all consumers who own a hoverboard: (1) do not charge them overnight, (2) do not charge them in an area of the home that is unattended, and (3) have working smoke alarms and a fire extinguisher nearby.”

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