Thursday, August 4, 2016

DPS news: Fire marshal issues warning about hoverboards

 Following a preliminary investigation, authorities believe a charging hoverboard caused a July house fire in Spicer that injured a woman and killed four dogs.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety State Fire Marshal Division (DPS-SFMD) is asking owners of these devices to read operating and charging instructions and check if their board is part of a recall that includes more than 500,000 units. The recall list is online.
"We don't want a fun time to turn deadly," State Fire Marshal Bruce West said. "Reading instructions is simple. Taking a few minutes now can spare you potential heartbreak later."   
Hoverboards not on the recall list can still be dangerous. DPS-SFMD investigators say hoverboards with lithium ion battery packs pose a risk of smoking, catching fire or exploding.
What homeowners can do to limit their risk of a hoverboard fire: 
  • Read warnings and safety instructions on how to operate and charge the hoverboard.
  • Be present when charging the board.
  • Follow the specific instructions about how long the board can stay on the charger. 

About the Minnesota Department of Public Safety
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) comprises 11 divisions where 2,100 employees operate programs in the areas of law enforcement, crime victim assistance, traffic safety, alcohol and gambling, emergency communications, fire safety, pipeline safety, driver licensing, vehicle registration and emergency management. DPS activity is anchored by three core principles: education, enforcement and prevention.

About the State Fire Marshal Division
The mission of the DPS-SFMD s to protect lives and property by fostering a fire-safe environment through fire/arson investigation, code development and enforcement, regulation, data collection and public education. Data collected by the SFMD from fire departments statewide is analyzed and used to determine the best methods of public education and enforcement to improve fire safety in our state.

2015 State Fire Marshal Division highlights
  • Staff answered 2,435 fire code questions via phone and email.
  • Investigators assisted on 465 fire investigations and provided 76 consultations.
  • The division marked its 110th anniversary.

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