'Hoverboards': This holiday season's hottest gift - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

'Hoverboards': This holiday season's hottest gift

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

One of the hottest gifts on Christmas lists this season is heating up, literally.

The “hoverboard” or electric self-balancing scooter is a hot item for sure. You may have seen people riding on them right here in downtown Savannah. But from flames to falls, they're slowly fizzling out and away from under the tree.

With celebrities like Justin Bieber posting videos online riding the toy, it looks like a lot of fun.  But they can also be very dangerous. They're not only exploding and catching on fire, they've also caught some people's homes on fire. The lithium batteries inside are taking the heat for the problem.

This item, with a hefty price tag at around $500, is being banned by major airlines like Delta and American as checked luggage or as carry-on.

One hoverboard manufacturer, Swagway, blames cheap knockoffs for the problem urging "customers to be aware of fake units that are being sold on the internet."

Alison Huffman, with SafeKids Savannah, says these toys are similar to skateboards and if you're getting them for a child in your family there are some safety tips to follow.

"So wearing a helmet is the first thing and then as extra protection elbow pads, wrist pads, knee pads, are going to help those joints in the event of a fall,” said Huffman.

And you can even search hashtag hoverboard fail on social media and you can see a lot of people have fallen on this popular toy. And if you are buying this toy, there are some other tips to help prevent an explosion.

Experts say don't charge a hoverboard while you’re sleeping, and don’t charge a hoverboard before wrapping it as a holiday gift.

Huffman also encourages parents to make sure any toy including the hoverboard are age appropriate and you keep an eye out for them while they're out playing.

"Make sure they're using them is a safe area, and make sure they're not in the road with a lot of traffic,” said Huffman.

To put this into perspective, they're allowed at the airport but you obviously can’t get them through security. They're not allowed at the mall, at all. Target has pulled them off the shelves and Amazon has offline.

But WTOC found at least one store in Savannah still selling them.

The City of Savannah said they're doing they're research.

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