One of the hottest holiday gifts this year were so-called “hoverboards” – two-wheeled, battery powered scooter-like devices.
But the contraptions are already raising concern after several of them burst into flames, thanks to problems with their Lithium batteries.
That has Vancouver firefighters reminding people to be careful with the batteries, which now appear in everything from toys to cel phones.
Cpt. Jonathan Gormick of the Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services says under the wrong conditions, the Lithium batteries can be quite dangerous.
“The danger with that comes with damage or penetration or low quality standards that can occur. So, when you have that much energy packed into a small space, if it gets out in an uncontrolled manner, it cause fairly big problems.”
But he says there are a number of ways consumers can stay safe with Lithium powered devices.
“As with anything you get what you pay for. So buying products from a reputable retailer and buying brand name products that have gone through some kind of safety certification is key.”
He says damaged batteries are also dangerous, and should be thrown out, or returned. And he adds Lithium battery powered devices should be well ventilated and monitored while charging.
While there has been some concern raised about smart-meters powered by these batteries installed in homes, Gormick says the products need to go through rigorous safety certification.