Hoverboards: All About Safety

Whatever you call them, whether it be; hands-free Segway, electric scooter, glideboard or just a “rideable”, it is clear to see that despite the past negative press – hoverboards are here to stay.

We wanted to clear up some rumours, give you some more information and hopefully answer your questions about swegways/segways/swagways or whatever you want to call them?! For easiness sake let’s call them hoverboards – and yes, we know they don’t hover! We just think it sounds the coolest!

With charger-caused fires alongside the fuel of the press, November 2015 saw hoverboards in every headline. Although we were nowhere near this scandal, all hoverboard suppliers including reputable ones – like ourselves, were tarnished by the Chinese produced products that were causing problems.

We have always supplied fully compliant, UK tested and verified products. Have a read of Bluefins certification and compliance documents. Regardless of this, we would like to clear up any queries regarding the safety and legal side of hoverboards… (yawn) But we will try and make it as interesting as possible!

What is a hoverboard?!what-is-a-hoverboard-bluefin

So, as we have established, hoverboards can’t hover – although there are some being developed that can! They are best described as; “self-balancing scooters” and are a new and extremely fun way of getting around.

Hoverboards are a portable, rechargeable battery-powered scooter. They first appeared on Kickstarter under the brand “Hovertrax” in 2013, but the design was copied and devices started being released from China and sold in the US and United Kingdom. These devices were unsafe, and their technical issues caused by cheap manufacturing resulted in them being recalled from suppliers and Amazon.

Do hoverboards still catch fire?

No – well ours don’t!

2015 saw cheap hoverboards overheating to the point that, in some cases, the products were setting on fire. The issue was that the amount of power needed to charge the huge batteries was not supported or regulated by the unfit chargers supplied. The hoverboards were of very poor quality, but due to their low prices, were very popular.

In early 2016, all Hoverboard brands, including ourselves were investigated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Our boards were scrutinised with a fine-tooth comb. Even though our boards have always been high quality, for customer piece of mind we also had them tested at an Independent UK Test Centre.

Our boards are fitted with top of the range components (find out more information here) and we have a less than 1% return rate for technical fault. Our charges also come with a built in cut off, so when your board is fully charged the power will stop coming through. There is absolutely no risk of over

Before you buy any hoverboard make sure it is tested and certified by a UK test centre – like Bluefin!

Which safety standards should I look for when buying a swegway?

When looking for a safe swegway, there are many different safety standards that boards and components should be tested to. For boards being sold within the EU and to be compliant with all EU regulations. They should be tested and compliant to a minimum of CE standards. Still to this day, many sellers are offering boards which are not tested to CE and use cheap non-compliant components which are quite worrying.

Our boards have been fully tested to be safe and compliant to all EU standards, the highest possible This is the main reason why we are the only trusted UK supplier to Amazon Europe.

Which is the best battery to choose for my hoverboard?
battery-samsung-bluefin

When buying a hoverboard, you need a battery that is; designed to last for as long as possible, be completely safe and have a zero percent chance of fire risk! There are three types of batteries currently on the hoverboard market:

  1. Chinese battery cells
  2. LG battery cells
  3. Samsung battery cells

Chinese – these batteries are very poor quality. They are the budget range and do not give the output or quality from the branded battery cells. Generally best to stay well clear of these.

LG – Next step up from Chinese. Average quality and output/range.

Samsung – These are the Rolls Royce of hoverboard batteries. They have the highest specs and ultimate build quality. You are assured to be 100% safe when your board uses a Samsung battery.

Once you have checked the battery, the next thing is to ensure the batteries have been tested to UN 38.3 and CE. These are the two key safety standards that should be met to ensure a board is guaranteed to be safe and not a fire risk.

Here at Bluefin, we only use Samsung batteries in all of our hoverboards. All which have been fully tested by verified UK test labs. You are guaranteed to get the ultimate ride time and capabilities from these batteries.

Which is the safest plug and charger for my swegway?
safe-hoverboard-charger-uk-bluefin

Back in 2015, there was a huge influx on noncompliant, unsafe plugs and chargers which led to many incidents of fires all over the UK. The unsafe plugs had no fuse and the unsafe chargers had no automatic cut-out, causing the batteries to overcharge and explode.

Safe plugs should have a fuse, as well as a CE stamped onto the plastic. Safe adapters should be clearly marked with the CE logo, manufacturers information and should have an auto-cut out. This ensures that once the battery is fully charged, the charger stops feeding charge into the battery. This ensures it does not overheat whilst charging causing a fire.

So, which hoverboard should I buy?

There are so many companies now selling hoverboards for pricing ranging from £100-£1000. We believe you get what you pay for and a cheaper board is not going to last or be safe.
Bluefin Hoverboards are all CE and ROHS certified, are fitted with the highest quality components – such as Samsung Lithium Ion Batteries. Meaning that they are the safest boards you can get! We also stock Amazon with our hoverboards – we are one of the only UK sellers to be allowed to sell on Amazon – due to their strict safety guidelines.

Where can I ride my hoverboard?where-to-ride-hoverboard-bluefin

Hoverboards have the same rules as Segways – in the UK they are not allowed on public pavements or roads. This is not only for the safety of other traffic but for your safety as well. Regardless of this, you can still have fun on your board in local parks, skate parks and private property.

We have boards for all types of terrain from the Classic 6.5” best on indoor and flat surfaces right up to our All-Terrain board which is IP56 Waterproof Certified and ready for full off-road adventures!