Retailers assure quality, safety of their hoverboards

National 2 minutes, 18 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

DESPITE being aware of international media reports of hoverboards catching fire and exploding, local shops selling the popular gadget assures that the units they sell are still safe to be operated .

A worker at YMRM said they have already sold around 300 units in the past month. He ensured that the hoverboards are still safe as long as users avoid overcharging.

“There is a risk to overcharging any device (powered by lithium battery)... Any item left overcharged can potentially be dangerous,” Depeesh said.

He added that the boards were safe as they are ordered from Korea, and have better quality components and a charge indicator making it user friendly as it tells owners when batteries are fully charged.

The manager of a gadget shop in Gadong who wished to remain anonymous took extra precaution by separately ordering “auto cut-off” chargers as an alternative for customers concerned over battery hazards.

The manager, who already sold 250 units, said the charger automatically cuts off the power circuit when the hoverboard is fully charged adding that no complaints have been received from customers.

Other precautions he took include ordering the hoverboards straight from the manufacturers without batteries and separately ordering higher quality Samsung batteries.

“Some manufacturers make quality boards but its components would be of poor quality, so in the end it really depends on the products and the seller.

“If I sold faulty products, it would put my business at risk and I have a lot of customers so there is no point selling cheap hoverboards which have poor quality,” he said.

The manager of Carco Autos in Gadong who used to sell hover boards took a more drastic approach by stopping its sales and orders because of the international news reports of hoverboards catching fire.

Siti Nuramni Yusrina who used to order the boards from China, said that she stopped selling them after viral images and videos circulated on the internet.

“I also read reports from BBC and other international media agencies – some scooters even burned down houses (while charging),” she said.

Bakhtiar Mohammad, a hover board owner aware of its international fire related incidents, recently bought the gadget, noting that he was careful whenever charging it.

He said that after reading international media reports, he watches over the charging process of his nieces’ and nephews’ hover boards.

According to January 4 BBC article, a hoverboard fire destroyed a family home in Australia and it also said that UK consumer protection agency National Trading Standards found that 88 per cent of the self-balancing boards they examined could potentially explode or catch fire.

When contacted, national flag carrier Royal Brunei Airlines (RB) said they have banned hoverboards due to their high power lithium batteries from being brought onto the aircraft.

The Brunei Times