PATERSON — A hoverboard plugged into the wall for battery charging exploded as the child slept, police said.

ABC 7 Eyewitness News cited police who said the bedroom was filled with smoke and the hoverboard was on fire when another child smelled smoke and opened the door.

A picture of the colorful, multi-colored hoverboard showed the end near one of the wheels partially charred.

Nearly 100 reported incidents of the battery packs of hoverboards overheating, sparking, smoking, catching fire or exploding, including two in New Jersey, were reported to the Consumer Product Safety Commission in 2015 and 2016. Ten companies recalled their hoverboards in July.

Many New Jersey colleges banning them from campus including Rutgers, Seton Hall, Rider and Stockton.

A Brick Township man reported this his son's "Tough Copter" appeared to catch fire and melt into the desk in his son's bedroom while it charged in January.

The CPSC's tips for buying and using a hoverboard include:

  • Avoid buying the product at a location (like a mall kiosk) or on a website that does not have information about who is selling the product and how they can be contacted if there is a problem.  If you do not think you could find the seller again, were a problem to arise with your board, steer clear of doing business with them.
  • Do not charge a hoverboard overnight or when you are not able to observe the board.
  • Charge and store in an open dry area away from items that can catch fire.
  • Do not charge directly after riding.  Let the device cool for an hour before charging.
  • If giving a hoverboard as a gift, leave it in its partially charged state.  Do not take it out of the package to bring it to a full charge and then wrap it back up. Often, the product comes partially charged.  Leave it in that state until it is ready to be used.
  • Look for the mark of a certified national testing laboratory.  While this does not rule out counterfeits, the absence of such a mark means your safety is likely not a priority for that manufacturer.
  • Do not ride the hoverboard near any vehicular traffic.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.

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