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6 Essential Hoverboard Safety Precautions and Tips

6 Essential Hoverboard Safety Precautions and Tips

We’ve all laughed at the Facebook videos – people, mostly parents, trying out the hoverboards they got their kids for Christmas or birthdays. But the pain can be pretty real, especially on concrete. And we’ve seen the videos and read the warnings about “knock-off” batteries that explode – not a comforting thought.

If kids have the genuine article, however, hoverboards can be great fun and are a very cool way to get around the neighborhood and even display a few tricks. Like everything mobile, however, there are some precautions. Most are just common sense, but a few reminders don’t hurt – here are six of them.

1. Know Where to Ride

There is no simple answer to this. Of course, you can ride them in neighborhoods, probably in parks, and in most places where you can ride bikes and use skateboards. Some cities have banned their use on streets, though, so you will have to check with local laws. While New York City has banned them and publicized a $500 fine, they are all over the sidewalks and bike lanes in that city, and no one seems to mind.

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In the UK, mobile boards have been banned for 180 years, and people were reminded of the law when hoverboards began to be seen. In the UK, they are only allowed on private property and then only with the owner’s permission. Already, however, this ancient law is being violated without much punitive action. Another banishment is coming from some college campuses, related to fire concerns, and, at least at George Washington University in D.C., the banning covers all battery operated transport devices, such as Segway’s.

The best bet, though, is to check with your local police department before riding on public streets.

2. Practice Before Hitting The Roads

Getting right on a new hoverboard and taking off is probably not a good idea. The first skill is a balance, and it is this that causes the initial falls. Getting on and off the board is also pretty critical because you have to go one foot at a time. And when getting off the board, always step backwards, not forward. The dominant foot should get off first. Other parts of your practice should include being certain that you do not bend your knees and that you keep your posture quite straight. And keep your feet relatively apart. This stance, along with keeping your eyes straight ahead, should allow you to have the best balance on the board.

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Even if you ultimately choose not to wear safety gear (though it is recommended), you should be during your practice sessions and until you feel accomplished. Head, elbows, and knees do not get along well with concrete.

3. Stay Safe While Riding at Night

Hoverboards have lights, but they are low and not that bright. Riding at night, then, should mean extra precautions. First of all, as you’ve been told before when running or bike riding at night, wear white. Second, you might want to consider some light up shoes. These have small lithium-ion batteries such as those you have in your phone or computer and are quite safe. They must be charged, just like phones and computers, but the soles not only light up but continue to flash and change colors and attract more attention than just the single-colored solid lights on the hoverboards.

4. Hoverboards Don’t Fly – By Themselves or on Planes

Again, because of safety concerns, most airlines have regulated bringing hoverboards on board, as of January 1, 2016. Here are just a few of those regulations:

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  • Several airlines have banned them altogether – Delta, JetBlue Alaska, and Frontier
  • Board must be checked and battery removed and carried on – United
  • Can’t be checked but can be carried on – American, Virgin America
  • Allowed if battery is less than 160 Watt-hours – Southwest

In general, it will be important to check with any airline before taking a hoverboard to an airport. Regulations will be changing, and you will need to keep up on them.

5. Charging Overnight is A Bad Idea

Even if you know you have a top-of-the-line hoverboard with a genuine battery, don’t take the chance. Charging overnight means no monitoring at all while you sleep. Most hoverboard batteries take about four hours to charge fully. If they continue to be plugged in, a fire is of greater potential.

Many riders plug in their batteries as soon as they finish, even if they do not have four hours for a full charge. We do the same with our phones and computers too, and they have the same types of batteries. The goal is to keep enough charge to be usable for the time you want. It’s another good idea to monitor while it is being charged.

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6. Use Them as They Are Meant to Be Used – No Flying

Hoverboards are not skateboards. We have all seen skilled skateboard riders take long high ramps, fly through the air, and land beautifully. Skateboards are manually maneuvered and speed is generated by a pushing foot. They are thin boards of wood that are lightweight.

Hoverboards are thicker and, news flash, they have a battery, and move more slowly. Trying ramp tricks with hoverboards is foolish and more than a little risky — and skateboard-type tricks will mean that hoverboards will crash. Light bumps may not harm, but crashing can injure the board so that it is not balanced anymore. At the very least, it will have to be re-calibrated. At the worst, you could explode the battery. Hoverboards are meant for smooth pavement and easy riding – use them in that way, and you’ll have years of good use from a relatively expensive piece of transport.

Hoverboards are great fun — there is no argument about that, and kids who have a naturally good balance have taken to them well. In some instances, they have replaced bikes for moving about neighborhoods and parks. As they are improved and made safer in terms of fire hazards, it is possible that, where they are currently banned, they may become quite common modes of personal transport and not just for kids and teens.

Featured photo credit: larkin.family via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 24, 2021

8 Smart Home Gadgets You Need in Your House

8 Smart Home Gadgets You Need in Your House

We’ve all done it. We’ve gone out and bought useless gadgets that we don’t really need, just because they seemed really cool at the time. Then, we are stuck with a bunch of junk, and end up tossing it or trying to sell it on Ebay.

On the other hand, there are some pretty awesome tech inventions that are actually useful. For instance, many of the latest home gadgets do some of your work for you, from adjusting the home thermostat to locking your front door. And, if used as designed, these tools should really help to make your life a lot easier—and that’s not just a claim from some infomercial trying to sell you yet another useless gadget.

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Take a look at some of the most popular “smart gadgets” on the market:

1. Smart Door Locks

A smart lock lets you lock and unlock your doors by using your smartphone, a special key fob, or biometrics. These locks are keyless, and much more difficult for intruders to break into, making your home a lot safer. You can even use a special app to let people into your home if you are not there to greet them.

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2. Smart Kitchen Tools

Wouldn’t you just love to have a pot of coffee waiting for you when you get home from work? What about a “smart pan” that tells you exactly when you need to flip that omelet? From meat thermometers to kitchen scales, you’ll find a variety of “smart” gadgets designed to make culinary geeks salivate.

3. Mini Home Speaker Play:1

If you love big sound, but hate how much space big speakers take up, and if you want a stereo system that is no bigger than your fist, check out the Play:1 mini speaker. All you have to do is plug it in, connect, and then you can stream without worrying about any interruptions or interface. You can even add onto it, and have different music playing in different rooms.

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4. Wi-Fi Security Cameras

These are the latest in home security, and they connect to the Wi-Fi in your home. You can use your mobile devices to monitor what is going on in your home at all times, no matter where you are. Options include motion sensors, two-way audio, and different recording options.

5. Nest Thermostat

This is a thermostat that lives with you. It can sense seasonal changes, temperature changes, etc., and it will adjust itself automatically. You will never have to fiddle with a thermostat dial or keypad again, because this one basically does all of the work for you. It can also help you to save as much as 12% on heating bills, and 15% on cooling bills.

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6. Smart Lighting

Control your home lighting from your remote device. This is great if you are out and want to make sure that there are some lights on. It is designed to be energy efficient, so it will pay for itself over time because you won’t have to spend so much on your monthly energy bills.

7. Google Chromecast Ultra

Whether you love movies, television shows, music, etc., you can stream it all using Google Chromecast Ultra. Stream all of the entertainment you love in up to 4K UHD and HDR, for just $69 monthly.

8. Canary

This home security system will automatically contact emergency services when they are needed. This system offers both video and audio surveillance, so there will be evidence if there are any break-ins on your property. You can also use it to check up on what’s happening at home when you are not there, including to make sure the kids are doing their homework.

Featured photo credit: Karolina via kaboompics.com

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