The "hoverboard" is the hottest toy this Christmas. We mean that in a literal and figurative way. Sales of these rolling, self-balancing, motorized, two wheeled boards are hot. The fact that some of these boards have also burst into flames have made them hot in a very dangerous way. This has prompted some words of caution from State Fire Marshal Butch Browning.

The issue with the boards appears to be in the battery. Marshal Browning told the Louisiana Radio Network that parents who are considering purchasing one of these toys for their children for Christmas really need to do their homework.

We know that most of them aren’t tested and made reliable by independent testing firms, both the device and the batteries, so make sure that you purchase one that’s been tested by a recognized testing laboratory.

You might recall a Lafitte resident suffered injuries last month when the hoverboard they were using caught fire and burned their home. Browning says that it is up to the consumer to  understand the product and how it functions before they allow their children to use it.

Go through that manual and make sure that you’re using all the recommended practices. It may be a situation where they only recommend that you charge that battery for a certain period of time. Follow those recommendations.

You might be asking why these toys are not banned if there is such a concern about their use? The fact is that many reliable manufacturers have tested their products for safety. Some of the lesser known brands may have not vetted the safety issue to its fullest extent. Still there is also operator error and neglect on the part of the user that can be blamed as well.

Our advice, become an informed consumer before you purchase and make sure that you and anyone who will be using this item fully understand the proper way to charge and use the product. This should keep you safe.