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Vic govt wants Aust-wide hoverboard ban

Hoverboards could be banned in Australia after an explosive fire destroyed a Melbourne home.


Victoria’s consumer affairs minister Jane Garrett has written to her federal counterpart Kelly O’Dwyer, asking her to consider a permanent ban of the toy following the blaze on Monday.

She has also spoken to colleagues in other states, and says there is widespread concern.

“It has been an issue that has caught the attention of consumer affairs officials right across the country,” Ms Garrett told reporters on Wednesday.

“We just can’t take those risks with, particularly, children’s safety.”

A hoverboard charging in a Strathmore home triggered a fire 10 minutes after it was plugged in on Monday night.

Fire investigators say the toy’s battery exploded, setting the device alight and sparking a fire which spread quickly through the home.

Ash Ibraheim fled with his four daughters and pets after trying to extinguish the blaze with a bucket of water.

Energy Safe Victoria said the unmarked hoverboard, purchased from a NSW distributor, did not comply with national safety standards.

The regulator is trying to figure out the model and supplier of the board, and what part of the toy triggered the battery explosion.

Authorities are urging consumers to check hoverboards they may have at home, with seven products recalled to date.

The device and its charger should be stamped with the Australian Regulatory Compliance Mark, a tick surrounded by a triangle.

If they’re not, the toy is probably illegal and dangerous, and it should be reported and returned, energy and resources minister Lily D’Ambrosio said.

“Please do not risk it. It is simply not worth it,” she said.

A squad of inspectors started visiting stores around Victoria on Wednesday, making sure they’re selling safe models that hadn’t been recalled.

Non-compliant products will be seized, with individuals doing the wrong thing facing fines of $4000 and companies $20,000.

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