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Why one of 2015’s hottest Christmas gifts might just be too hot

Posted by EHS Insight Staff on December 22, 2015 at 11:07 AM

From movie stars to pro athletes, hoverboards are the latest technology fad and the “it” gadget of the 2015 holiday season. They charge quickly, they’re fun to ride, and they’re being used by kids and adults. But these trendy new scooters are becoming known for another reason – their potential fire hazard.

Lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) are extremely common in many of our everyday electronics. These rechargeable batteries are also popular in mobile or portable devices, mainly due to their great energy density. While most hoverboards are made safely, their lithium-ion batteries are more powerful than everyday devices like a laptop or power tool.

Hoverboard
Image credit: The Chimes

Due to potential safety hazards, these batteries are gaining attention for the wrong reasons. Lion Technology, a safety training company, mentions that although incidents related to lithium batteries may be low, riders should always take precaution in the event of a fire outbreak. Plus, damage to a lithium-ion battery can result in short circuits that lead to “thermal runaway”. The cycle of thermal runaway begins with a rise in temperature that ultimately ends with the battery exploding. 

So what can you do to keep your home and workplace safe and accident-free? Check out some of these tips from Lion Technology:

  • Avoid damaging the battery as a result of crushing, puncturing, or dropping
  • When storing lithium-ion batteries, keep them in their original packaging and in areas with adequate ventilation 
  • Avoid subjecting LIBs to damage that could lead to an internal short, overheating, or leaking

Lion Technology even offers a “Lithium Battery Safety” course as a free add-on during the registration process of “Shipping Lithium Batteries (Function-Specific) Webinar” and the “Shipping Lithium Batteries Online Course”. As far as hoverboards go, avoid suspiciously cheap hoverboards being sold online, don’t overcharge, and don’t leave your device unattended while charging. In the event of a fire, it is advised to completely submerge the board in water.

Topics: Trends, Safety Tips

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