Underwriters Laboratories Will Start Testing, Certifying Hoverboards For Safety

img-20151214-00061 (1)If hoverboard manufacturers are going to slap counterfeit safety marks on their products, Underwriters Laboratories figures it might as well start testing and certifying the scooters, a function it previously did not perform.

UL, an independent safety consulting and certification company, announced that it’s opening the door to product submittals of self-balancing scooters, often called hoverboards, for “construction evaluation, testing, and/or UL certification,” noting that recent news reports of hoverboards catching fire show a need for the service.

The issue with many of the exploding hoverboards lies in the lithium-ion batteries that are used to charge the scooters. The rechargeable batteries can be jostled easily while use and short circuit, which can cause a fire.

The scooters will be tested and certified using UL 2272, which covers the electric drive train including the rechargeable battery and charger system combination. UL has been evaluating, testing, and certifying battery cells and packs for years, as well as battery chargers and power supplies, the company said in a press release.

“With UL 2272, our expert science, research, and engineering teams have now developed the appropriate requirements and methodology to confidently evaluate and test the entire self-balancing scooter for electrical and fire-hazard safety as a system,” Jeff Smidt, vice president and general manager for UL’s Energy and Power Technologies division said in the release.

Retailers and manufacturers interested in submitting hoverboards for product testing and/or UL certification can submit their requests to the company to begin the process.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said in December that it’s looking into 22 hoverboard-related fires in 17 states, with a focus on the configuration of battery packs.