They may have once been the figment of Hollywood imagination, purposed by the likes of Marty McFly to restore the time, space continuum, yet the once humble (and fictitious) hoverboard has since become a potential risk to the health and wellbeing of 2016 society.

Whilst the actual hoverboard might only have the brand name in common with the gadget that all fans of the Back to the Future trilogy put atop of their wish list, the re-imagined version available in retailers to purchase today pose far more of a risk than the original example Michael J Fox facilitated ever did.

As a catalogue of house fires have graphically testified to in recent times, these poorly made imitations have a habit of triggering destruction (and endangering lives) wherever – and whenever – they show up.

So much so that hoverboards have since been banned from use on public land, the result of which has seen them move indoors a lot more of late; essentially leading to further incidents which impinge on health and safety.

One family who know all too well about the dangers of hoverboards operating within enclosed spaces are the Chiem family from Bradford in West Yorkshire, who are seeking help from legal experts and personal injury claims specialists in the aftermath of property damage and injuries inflicted by a fire which was found to have started by the presence of a hoverboard.

living room fire caused by hoverboard

The Chiem family living room was devastated by the hoverboard fire. Img:

A subsequent fire which according to new sources ripped through the Chiem’s family home and trapping their two young children and a friend inside at the time. All three kids required hospital treatment as a direct result of the hoverboard exploding without any prior warning in the living room of the property, shortly after being taken off charge in January this year. Once having caught fire the toy proceeded to ignite furniture in close proximity to it, with the children forced to take shelter upstairs in the family home as smoke quickly began to overwhelm the property; a series of events which meant it was impossible for them to source the door keys to make a hasty escape.

The product liability expert at the personal injury claims lawyers approached by the Chiem family to take on the case went on record as saying that as far as they were concerned it was ‘a miracle that nobody was killed in the resultant house fire’, instead beating a retreat once their mother had intervened with minor injuries to show for their frightening ordeal.

In light of the potentially destructive situation which could easily have unfolded in this instance, the lawyers acting on the Chiem’s behalf are pushing for a thorough investigation to take place to prevent future incidents of this nature from happening, whilst calling on manufacturers to be made more accountable for what appears to be suspect standards of product safety.

According to the legal experts, while the more reputable brands are habitually achieving commendably high standards with regards to safety standards, other cheaper brands have ‘failed catastrophically’ and need to have their records addressed as an urgent matter of public concern.

Originally purchased as a Christmas gift from a toy wholesalers in Leeds in November 2015, the mother of the children, Mrs Tram expressed her dismay when she spoke to media outlets of how; “We never dreamed that something like this would happen. The kids could have been killed.”

And the legacy of this ordeal continues to manifest in the form of nightmares, according to their mother, who went on to add that; “They all believed they were going to die in the fire.”

The extent of the damage caused by the fire meant that the Chiem family are currently residing with relatives in a single bedroom, and are demanding to establish precisely how such a series of events could have happened in the first place, especially when they fervently believed that they had bought a reliable product from a trusted local retailer.

It’s been discovered during investigations following similar incidents that sub-standard quality components (such as internal rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, protective casing or the plug and charger) are to blame for fires.


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