26 November 2015

Trading Standards officers in Northamptonshire are warning Christmas shoppers to be cautious before buying a hoverboard, tipped to be one of this year’s most popular festive gifts.

The must-have toy, also known as a balance board, is selling fast in the run-up to Christmas, but there have been reports that poor quality versions are a fire hazard


Fire brigades in London, Buckinghamshire and Kent have all attended fires caused by the battery pack or charger overheating and having no safety cut-off function.

Consumers are also being reminded that it is against the law in the UK to ride a hoverboard on a road or footpath.

Northamptonshire County Council’s Trading Standards is encouraging people who do want to fulfil their child’s wish list to only buy these products from reputable retailers.

Cllr André Gonzalez de Savage, Northamptonshire County Council cabinet member for public protection, strategic infrastructure and economic growth, said: “Hoverboards are expected to be on many children’s lists to Father Christmas this year, but parents shouldn’t be fooled by a cheap deal.

“We’ve received reports of poor quality products being imported from overseas, so our advice is to only buy from trustworthy shops and outlets.

“A fire caused by a knock-off product that doesn’t adhere to safety standards would ruin anyone’s Christmas, so please follow our advice.”

Top tips

Trading Standards is offering the following advice for anyone considering buying a hoverboard:

  • Only buy from reputable retailers
  • Read the instructions carefully before using the product
  • Make sure the instructions that come with the product are in English, and are clear and concise
  • Don’t leave the hoverboard to charge overnight
  • If the battery pack or charger begins to feel hot or you see a spark or smoke, turn the power off and unplug the product

Consumers can report faulty goods or concerns about retailers to Trading Standards by calling Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06.