Unsafe Hoverboards continue to be detained at Felixstowe Port

Suffolk Trading Standards are warning people about ongoing risks with Hoverboards following a number of new detentions in Suffolk.

HoverboardRecently Suffolk’s Imports Surveillance Team has stopped 6 consignments of these products being imported via the Port of Felixstowe – examining a total of 1422 hover boards; declaring 1247 of them as unsafe.

This new appeal for vigilance follows an appeal in December 2015 where the Trading Standards – Ports and Border team detained over 18,000 balance scooters from seventy-five separate consignments at the Port of Felixstowe.

On inspection all scooters were assessed as being unsafe due to a range of hazards including faulty battery charger cut-off switches, the cabling, and unsafe chargers. A further 16 consignments were examined at other UK border points, including the airports with over 2,000 items being assessed as unsafe.

Previous to that Suffolk Trading Standards officers seized 14 balance scooters that were on sale in an Ipswich town centre shop at the ‘bargain’ price of £270. The scooters were “non-compliant” under consumer safety legislation because the plug was a two-pin with no fuse, the user manual was not written in clear English and there were no manufacture/importer details on the product, user manual or packaging.

Councillor Matthew Hicks, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for environment and public protection said:

“When shopping for electrical goods people will naturally look for a bargain but the product could be of poor quality, a cheap copy, or made to look like a well-known brand. So please be aware that these cheaper copies may contain unsafe, incorrect or faulty parts that can overheat or break just days after purchase.

“Suffolk Trading Standards work tirelessly to ensure the safety of our residents. These latest interventions by the imports team working at the Port of Felixstowe show the important role played by officers in protecting people, across the country, from unsafe products”

If you are considering purchasing a balance scooter here are the key points you need to look out for that when looking for a compliant product:

  • The plug must be a three pin UK plug. It is not acceptable for the product to be supplied with a two pin plug and adaptor for use in UK sockets. If there is an adaptor, it must be fixed in such a way that it can be removed only by using a screw driver
  • The product should have information about the importer and/or manufacturer. This must include an address but may also include a website and full contact details in case of issues – just a mobile phone number is not good enough.
  • Instructions should be in good English, with advice about safe use, intended users (e.g. by age or weight).
  • Don’t charge your product either overnight or if you are going out.
  • Always buy from reputable sources and stores.
  • Always ensure that any replacement batteries or chargers are fully compatible with the item in line with manufacturer’s instructions.

If you have purchased one of the scooters pictured or something similar, or if you have an electrical device that you suspect may be unsafe, Trading Standards advice is to stop using it immediately, do not charge the product and report the matter to Suffolk Trading Standards on 03454 040506.

About suffolktradingstandards
Suffolk Trading Standards is working towards creating and fair and safe trading environment. By creating empowered consumers, that are armed with the knowledge to stop 'rogue traders'.

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