Victorian house fire prompts Queensland hover-board warning

Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace has urged consumers to be extra vigilant following reports of a house fire involving a hover-board in Victoria and a number of recalls of the electrical chargers of the devices.

“Not only do we have to be careful just riding hover-boards, but we have to make some simple checks to ensure they are safe,” Ms Grace said.

“If you own or got a hover-board for Christmas, make sure the power supply is Australian certified and only charge it while attended.

“Never charge it overnight while you sleep.

“And if you’ve had a few spills trying to master these self-balancing two-wheel scooters, it’s important to check for damage to the battery enclosure before re-charging.”

Ms Grace said poorly manufactured hover-boards or their power supplies, or devices that did not comply with Australian standards, could cause an electric shock or fire risk.

“The power supply/charger is required to be Australian certified and be marked with an Australian certification mark, such as the regulatory compliance mark (RCM) or a State or Territory endorsed approval number, and have a registered responsible supplier,” she said.

“The charger could be an electric shock risk if the insulation between the 240V supply and the output is not sufficient.

“The battery pack should also comply with relevant international standards to ensure a minimum safety requirement.”

A joint audit by State and Territory electrical safety regulators prior to Christmas identified a number of sellers who had power supplies/chargers that were not Australia certified.

As a result, the following brands have been recalled - Airwalk, Moonwalker, Go Skitz, Sello products, Techwheel, Mod Board and Scooter Emporium.

“Poorly made hover-boards could cause a fire if overcharged, or if substandard components inside such devices fail,” Ms Grace said.

“And if it’s poorly manufactured and can’t withstand impact, or is damaged by what may appear as harmless crashes, the device can also overheat and cause a fire.

“So far, the Electrical Safety Office has not been informed of any fires that have occurred in Queensland due to hover-board failures and we want to keep it that way.”

The Electrical Safety Office advises consumers should check the recalls website to see if their product or charger has been recalled, to always follow manufacturers’ instructions for use, and ensure they only use the correct Australian certified (RCM) charger to re-charge the hover-board.

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