Christmas shoppers warned over fire risks of "dangerous" hoverboards
Shoppers are being urged to cut "dangerous" hoverboards from their Christmas shopping lists because of the "significant" fire risk they pose.
The Local Government Association (LGA) in the UK issued the plea to consumers after several cases of the self-balancing scooters causing "major" fires prompted retailers to pull them from the shelves.
The LGA, which represents all 46 fire authorities in England and Wales, said more than 80 per cent of 38,000 hoverboards stopped from entering the UK by Trading Standards since October have been deemed unsafe - many because of an "increased risk of exploding or bursting into flames".
Jeremy Hilton, chairman of the LGA's Fire Services Management Committee, said: "Hoverboards are top of Christmas wishlists for many people this year, but these exploding gadgets can cause major fires which put lives at risk.
"Trading Standards teams at councils nationwide have been working hard to stop dangerous hoverboards entering the country, but people are able to buy them online from unofficial websites.
"With major retailers pulling them from sale, we are urging people to think twice about buying a hoverboard because of the significant fire risk associated with them."
Retailers including Halfords, Amazon, John Lewis and Argos have stopped selling versions of the gadget in recent weeks.
Many cheap, fake imports have hit the headlines after fires including one in Kent, which caused £25,000 damage after a hoverboard overheated while charging.
The LGA is advising people to avoid "fake and suspiciously cheap hoverboards", especially those being sold online.
Mr Hilton said: "Anyone who has bought one should check the plugs conform to British safety standards and should never leave the boards charging unattended or overnight when asleep.
"Don't be tempted by the price of a hoverboard that seems too good to be true - it could cost you your life. People can have a safer Christmas by choosing not to buy one at all."
- Press Association