Hoverboard warning after device bursts into flames just minutes after a child started using the gadget

A hoverboard engulfed in flames just minutes after a child started using the device.

Firefighters were called and arrived to find the self-balancing scooter burst into flames but fortunately the child was unharmed.

While hoverboards are a desirable gadget, London Fire Brigade's head of fire investigation Charlie Pugsley warned members of the public to be sure what they are buying is safe to use.

He said: "Hoverboards might be the 'must-have' gadget but we have serious concerns that some products on sale which are not 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 Firsts' recall list.

"If you already own a hoverboard or are going to buy one as a present, never leave it charging unattended and do not charge it overnight.

"It's also important to ensure your home is fitted with a working smoke alarm on every level of your home and the safest option is to have those linked together."

Many electrical fires can be avoided by following a few simple steps such as never using imitation electrical chargers or unplugging appliances when you are not using them.

The brigade's top electrical safety tips are:

  • Do not use imitation electrical charges as they may be unsafe.
  • Make sure electrical appliances have a British or European safety mark when you buy them.
  • Unplugging appliances and chargers when you are not using them or when you go to bed helps reduce the risk of fire.
  • For plugs that do not come fitted to the appliance, always check you're using the right fuse.
  • Keep to one plug per socket.
  • If you use an adaptor, use a fused 'in line' type. The adaptor or extension lead will have a limit of how much power it can safely provide so be careful not to overload sockets.
  • Remember: scorch marks, flickering lights, hot plugs and sockets, fuses that low or circuit-breakers that trip for no obvious reasons could be signs of loose or dangerous wiring.

    The brigade was called at 7.08pm on August 1 to the incident in Tannoy Square West Norwood.

    The fire was under control nine minutes later after one fire engine from West Norwood fire station attended the scene.

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