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Vecaro Hoverboards Added To Nationwide Recall Over Fire Risk

When federal regulators forced recalls of more than half a million hoverboards made by eight different Chinese manufacturers last year, the number of reports of fires and explosions involving the recreational mobile devices dropped. But as with so many other consumer electronic devices powered by lithium-ion batteries, the potential for a fiery battery malfunction has not gone away completely. On Thursday, March 23, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) added about 500 Chinese-made hoverboards sold by Vecaro Lifestyle of Cerritos, California, to the list of hoverboards under recall. According to the agency, the lithium-ion battery packs in the devices ... Read More

Electronics Ban in carry-on luggage Could lead to Explosions, Fires In Passenger Plane cargo holds

A sudden security ban on laptops, tablets, cameras, and most other electronics in the passenger cabins of certain direct flights to the U.S. has some airline analysts raising red flags over possible safety hazards. The ban took effect on Tuesday, March 21, and applies to nonstop inbound U.S. flights from Cairo, Egypt; Amman, Jordan; Kuwait City, Kuwait; Casablanca, Morocco; Doha, Qatar; Riyadh and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Istanbul, Turkey; and Abu Dhabi and Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The Department of Homeland Security based the ban on intelligence indicating that Islamic terrorists are developing explosives that can be disguised as batteries in ... Read More

One Girl Dead, Two Severely Burned in House Fire Cause by Exploding Hoverboard

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, authorities say a hoverboard that exploded while it was charging is to blame for a house fire that killed a 3-year-old girl and critically injured two others. Firefighters reached the three-story house shortly after the blaze was reported around 8 p.m. Friday, March 10. Strong winds in the area at the time fueled the inferno and the first floor was reportedly engulfed in flames. The Lehigh County coroner’s office identified the child who died as Ashanti Hughes. Rescuers retrieved two other girls who were trapped on the second and third floors, and two other family members escaped onto ... Read More

All 36 Victims of Oakland Warehouse Fire Died From Smoke Inhalation

Authorities investigating a deadly fire that broke out in an Oakland, California, warehouse in December say that all 36 victims who perished in the disaster were killed by smoke inhalation. The warehouse fire broke out Dec. 2, consuming a two-story, 10,000-square-foot warehouse known as the “Ghost Ship” that served as an artists’ collective and exhibition space. Fire officials say the blaze started at the back of the building, but they have not determined the cause. The warehouse’s leader, who faces charges of criminal negligence, insists that the fire broke out in an adjacent building from which the warehouse drew its ... Read More

Audi Recalls About 580,000 Vehicles For Engine Fire Hazard and Exploding Airbag Risk

Volkswagen is recalling nearly 580,000 of its luxury brand Audi vehicles in the U.S. to repair problems that could lead to engine fires and exploding airbags. One recall involves 342,867 model year 2013-2017 Audi A5 and Audi A5 Cabriolet cars with turbocharged engines and a coolant pump that can become clogged with debris and catch fire. The company is also recalling 234,054 2011-2017 Q5 SUVs because water from the sunroof drainage system can soak into the foam surrounding the side air bag inflators, potentially causing the inflator to explode. According to Tech Times, “the moisture from the foam could corrode ... Read More

Lithium-Ion battery Car Fires pose a New Challenge For Firefighters

As hybrid and electric cars rise in popularity throughout the U.S., so does the prospect of car fires stemming from the lithium-ion batteries that power “green” engines. Firefighters in Mountain View, California, responded last week to an electric car battery fire. According to the Mountain View Voice, the car’s engine had been converted from a conventional combustion engine to all-electric. For unknown reasons, a lithium-ion battery in the engine overheated to about 500 degrees, casting a plume of noxious smoke. It was the first electric car battery fire the Mountain View Fire Department had to battle, the Mountain View Voice ... Read More

Judge Orders PG&E To Public Service, Shaming For Deadly San Bruno pipeline explosion

A federal judge has ordered California’s largest utility company, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), to spend about $3 million on television and newspaper advertisements to inform the public it had been found guilty of violating natural gas pipeline safety regulations, which led to a catastrophic subterranean pipeline explosion in San Bruno. The penalty is part of a larger criminal sentencing that has sparked some controversy among critics. In addition to the “public shaming ads” and a maximum $3-million penalty, PG&E executives must also perform 2,000 hours of community service and the company as a whole must perform an additional 8,000 ... Read More

FDA Says Battery-Powered Mobile Medical Carts Prone to Explosion, Fire

Exploding lithium-ion batteries and the devices they power grabbed a lot of headlines in 2016, triggering a multitude of safety alerts, warnings, and product recalls. But although most of the focus has been on hoverboards, electronic cigarettes, and Samsung smartphones, federal safety regulators recently added another item of concern: mobile medical carts. On Dec. 27, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an advisory to health care professionals and administrators of hospitals and other medical facilities warning them about the safety risks associated with battery-powered mobile carts and workstations that monitor patients, scan barcodes, provide point of care workstations, ... Read More

New NBA Agreements bar players from using hoverboards

The NBA is currently finalizing its new collective bargaining agreement for players, and among the new requirements by which players must abide in exchange for their lavish salaries is a ban on riding hoverboards. Some outsiders and even players themselves might balk at the idea of such a personal restriction, but the hoverboard is one of many activities that is now off-limits, all for the sake of protecting the teams’ most valuable assets: the players. According to Deadspin, which cited leaks from the new agreement, other activities NBA players are barred from doing in their leisure time are: using fireworks, ... Read More

Oakland Warehouse Inferno Kills 36; Toll Expected To Climb

The death toll from a fire that swept through an Oakland warehouse Friday night has climbed to 36, but investigators feel certain that number will rise once search and recovery efforts resume. The Oakland Fire Department had to suspend recovery operations in the Oakland Ghostship Warehouse Sunday night after noticing a wall at the back of the building was leaning at a steep angle. Melinda Drayton, Oakland Fire Department battalion chief, said in a news conference that “we absolutely believe that the number of fatalities will increase” once recovery operations resume. The two-story, 10,000-square-foot warehouse served as an artists’ collective ... Read More