Hoverboards explode. It's just a fact of life; one of those things that millennials will one day have to talk to their children about. (When they finally save up enough money to become parents, of course. Fifty is a good age for this, I hear.) And as this video from UK-based vlogger BuleBritish neatly illustrates, it can happen with very little warning. BuleBritish says he bought his hoverboard from eBay, charged it overnight, and on his first attempt to ride it, it burst into flames. He then tries to put out the fire by pouring water on it from a kettle, which isn't very smart for an electrical fire, but it is very British.
Confiscated in the UK and banned from airplanes
Why exactly the board blew up is difficult to say, but most reports of hoverboard fires blame cheap electronics and exploding lithium ion batteries. As the hoverboard trend became red hot last year, Chinese manufacturers began spinning out more and more devices overnight. It's likely that this need to cash led to less-than-stellar safety standards — which is why hoverboards have been confiscated in the UK and banned by the US Postal Service from shipping via plane.
More established hoverboard companies have hit back, new, safer devices. Swagway's Swagtron, for example, comes with a fire retardant plastic chassis and its battery is encased in an aluminum chamber to "contain the beast," as Swagway CEO Johnny Zhu told The Verge earlier this year. After all, you'd be disappointed if your Swagtron was more fire than fire emoji.
Verge Video: Swagway's new Swagtron hoverboard has Bluetooth speakers and apparently won't explode