Chairperson's Reminder of Christmas Safety
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council is Reminding People of Health and Safety Issues with Hoverboards
There have been a number of recent reports concerning the issues involved with certain types of hover boards, otherwise known as self-balancing scooters, catching fire.
More than 15,000 unsafe hoverboards have been seized at ports and airports around the UK with many containing plugs with no fuses, faulty cables or chargers that can burst into unexpectedly flames.
The faulty devices are thought to been imported from East Asia and China and do not conform to European safety standards, with most not being branded, and have been ordered by websites or small traders to sell on to bargain-hunting shoppers.
The Council’s Environmental Health Officers who enforce consumer safety legislation would give the following tips to consumers throughout the District who are thinking of buying a hoverboard or who may already have done so:
- Never leave the self-balancing scooter (hoverboard) charging unattended, especially overnight
- Check the shape of the plug, many of the boards that have been seized have a clover-shaped mains plug.
- Double-check the online reviews before buying. Look for information about the company's head office as well as a landline number.
- Buy from a trusted online retailer. Websites with spelling and grammatical errors can be an indication that the seller is not part of a professional operation.
- Do not be dazzled by a bargain. Always question the price and if it looks too good to be true, it most likely is.
Newry, Mourne and Down District Chairperson, Councillor Naomi Bailie, said, "I would encourage local retailers to take the responsible step of removing any hoverboards that do not meet safety standards from sale or face the risk of the full force of the Consumer Protection Act, under which the retailer can be held liable for any injuries caused by unsafe goods.”
"There have been safety guidelines issued that clearly state the various reasons why the use of hoverboards in public (on the road or paths) has been deemed illegal and this important information should be communicated to the buyer at the point of sale.”
Cllr Bailie continued, “Anyone who has already has their Christmas shopping completed and has purchased a hoverboard should make contact with the retailer to receive their written assurance that the product has been deemed safe and meets all of the European Safety Regulations.”
Where retailers are unable to provide such assurance, consumers should simply ask for a refund as they are entitled to under the Consumer Rights Act and report the matter to Consumerline Consumer Service by calling 0300 123 6262
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Environmental Health Officers can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0300 013 2233.