Electronics certification company makes hoverboard burst into flames

By Ben Hooper  |  Feb. 11, 2016 at 9:05 AM
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COLUMBIA, Md., Feb. 11 (UPI) -- Electronics certification firm UL used external heat to cause a hoverboard's battery to burst into flames in a video demonstration for firefighters.

The video, posted to YouTube by UL Firefighter Safety, shows what happens when the company used external heat on a hoverboard self-balancing scooter to "induce thermal runaway" in the lithium-ion battery.

The hoverboard's battery pops about 6 minutes and 55 seconds into the test -- which is sped up for the video -- leading the device to give off large amounts of smoke.

The battery makes a second popping noise at the 7:13 mark and the hoverboard bursts into flames.

The device incurs multiple small explosions during the ensuing seconds and the flames last well beyond the 11 minute mark in the sped-up footage.

"Everyone has probably seen some coverage of hoverboard fire incidents on the news," UL said on its website.

"Many of them have required fire service response. In order to better understand these failures UL's Research Team demonstrated the fire dynamics that result from a hoverboard that undergoes thermal runaway. FSRI wants to increase the knowledge of the fire service by showing what is happening prior to their arrival to these incidents. Fire investigators should also note the potential for multiple points of ignition as flaming components are projected away from the hoverboard."

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