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Australian Leaders Push For Nationwide Hoverboard Ban

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA — Leaders in the Australian State of Victoria are calling for swift action to ban hoverboards nationwide after one of the devices received as a Christmas present burned a house down in the Melbourne area as it was charging. According to The Guardian, a family lost their home in the Melbourne suburb of Strathmore Monday, Jan. 4, when the two-wheeled, self-balancing mobility device exploded while it was charging and set the house on fire. The hoverboard had been charging for just 13 minutes when it began to spark and shoot flames, Ash Ibraheim, one of the occupants of ... Read More

UK Seizing Hoverboards On Entry Over Fire Concerns

British border control authorities have seized more than 15,000 hoverboards in recent weeks as concerns over the safety of the self-balancing skateboard-like contraptions escalate. The Chinese-made hoverboards have been soaring in popularity in the last six months and have become the must-have Christmas gift in the several countries, including the U.K. and the U.S. But many U.K. residents may have their holiday hopes dashed as about 88 percent of the hoverboards flooding into the U.K. have been seized at seaports and airports since Oct. 15. As the hoverboards become increasingly popular around the world, numerous reports of hoverboard fires and ... Read More

Delta Bans Hoverboards From Flights Over Fire Concerns

Citing fire-related safety concerns, Delta Airlines announced that it is banning hoverboards from all of its flights starting today, Friday, Dec. 11. “Employee and passenger safety remains the airline’s top priority, driving Delta to disallow hoverboards and all lithium battery powered self-balancing personal transportation devices in carry-on and checked baggage effective Dec. 11,” the airline said in a statement. The decision to ban hoverboards, which resemble Segways without handles, just before the holiday season underscores the seriousness of the airline’s concerns that the lithium-ion batteries used to power the self-balancing transportation gadgets may overheat and start a fire onboard. Delta, ... Read More

Exploding Hoverboards in Louisiana and Alabama Blamed For Fires

A house fire ignited by an apparently defective charging assembly on a hoverboard could serve as a warning to anyone considering buying the popular motorized two-wheel scooters as gifts this holiday season. Jessica Horne of Lafitte, La., told New Orleans’ WGNO that her 12-year-old son used his new hoverboard for the first time a few days before Thanksgiving. The next day he plugged the self-balancing scooter into an electrical outlet to recharge the lithium batteries, using the charger provided with the hoverboard, and the device went up in flames. “It was like fireworks,” Ms. Horne told WGNO, saying that flames ... Read More

Faulty window switch prompts worldwide Toyota recall due to fire hazard

A worldwide Toyota recall of 6.5 million vehicles has been prompted by a faulty window switch that could wear down, short circuit and cause a vehicle fire. The recall affects models Yaris, Corolla, Camry, RAV4, Highlander, Matrix, Tundra, Sequoia, Scion xB and Scion xD produced from Jan. 2005-Aug. 2006 and Aug. 2008-Dec. 2010. An estimated 2.7 million of the recalled Toyotas are in North America, with 1.2 million in Europe and 600,000 in Japan. Toyota officials say the problem stems from a window switch that was not properly lubricated during manufacturing. The automaker has received one report from a U.S. ... Read More

20 Injured After Fire Erupts Aboard British Airways Jet in Las Vegas

Federal authorities arrived at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas to open an investigation of an engine fire that broke out aboard a British Airways Boeing 777 Tuesday as the plane was about to lift off. Pilots on the London Gatwick-bound flight aborted the flight as the airplane was speeding down the runway at 89 mph during takeoff. Flames and smoke bellowing from the left engine began to engulf the fuselage, creating what some passengers aboard described as a panic to exit the aircraft. The flight captain addressed passengers after the evacuation, saying the flight was aborted as a result ... Read More

A reminder to keep the holiday season safe with these simple tips

The holiday season is a festive time of year, but many things we do to celebrate and make these days special can result in serious injuries if we aren’t mindful of them. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), about 200 people sustain decoration-related injuries this time of the year, and an estimated 13,000 people are treated in emergency rooms nationwide for injuries they receive from holiday lights, Christmas trees, ornaments, and other decorations during the months of November and December. To keep your home and loved ones safe, avoid using sharp, heavy, and extremely fragile decorations, especially ... Read More

Steering defect, other problems prompt Ford to recall 1.3 million vehicles

Ford Motor Company is recalling 915,000 compact sport utility vehicles to repair a defect in the steering gear that can result in a sudden loss of power steering. The recall is the largest of four safety recalls affecting 1.3 million vehicles the auto maker announced Thursday. According to Ford, the steering defect recall affects model year 2008-2011 Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner SUVs manufactured at Ford’s Kansas City, Mo., factory. The company is also recalling 527 of the vehicles outside the U.S. for the same problem. The vehicles affected by the glitch were made between Aug. 18, 2006, and Sept. ... Read More

Tesla Motors to give its electric car owners new charger adapters to address overheating issues

Tesla Motors denied that its chargers were causing its premium electric vehicles to overheat and in a few cases catch fire, even though some speculated it was the cause. Instead the company provided a software update late last year to address the problem. Now Tesla officials say the company will provide owners with new charger adapters in an effort to fix another overheating issue. Tesla’s Model S vehicles, which start at about $70,000, have been thrust into the spotlight in recent months after three reports of battery fires following “undercarriage strikes” prompted the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to ... Read More

Train derailment in west Alabama causes explosions, fire and crude oil spill

A recent  Alabama & Gulf Coast Railway L.L.C. (AGR) train derailment near Aliceville in west Alabama resulted in fiery explosions and a crude oil spill. The incident occurred around 11:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 7. The Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue team responded to the scene at about 2 a.m. Oct. 8, in order to try and contain the spill, according to Lt. Travis Parker. The train was traveling on a raised trestle above a wetlands marsh area when 20 of the 90 train cars derailed. Eleven cars caught fire, which spread into the wetlands and was still burning Saturday following the accident. ... Read More