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Image of hoverboard and bulleted list of safety tips

A family in Washington, D.C. has to find a new home after a devastating fire Friday that started with a hoverboard given to the son as a Christmas gift. According to NBC4, the fire happened while the family was out running errands. They had left the self-balancing scooter plugged in and charging. When they returned, they found it on fire.

The mother and two sons are getting help with housing from the Salvation Army. They lost everything but the clothing they were wearing.

NFPA’s Hoverboard Safety tip sheet includes these precautions:

  • Do not leave a hoverboard unattended.
  • Stop using your hoverboard if it overheats.
  • Never leave the hoverboard plugged in overnight.

Some hoverboard fires have involved the lithium-ion battery or charger. The tip sheet also includes a list of signs to look for indicating that there is a problem and what to do if you notice any of these signs.

portable generator safety tips during the winter months

Our first big snowfall of the season hit the east last weekend and with January well underway, we know this storm is not going to be the last! There’s a lot to do to prepare for the cold weather and all that Mother Nature will throw at us, especially when we know that with these severe storms comes possible power outages.

Are you one of the thousands who plan to use a portable generator during a storm when the electricity goes out? If you are, you should know that using a generator improperly can be dangerous. The most common hazards include carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, electrical shock or electrocution and fire hazards.

But don’t let the risks keep you from using a portable generator; you just have to know how to operate them safely. Consider the following action steps that you can put into place now before the next storm hits:

• Operate generators in well-ventilated locations outdoors away from all doors, windows and vent openings
• Never use a generator in an attached garage, even with the door open
• Place generators so that exhaust fumes can’t enter the home through windows, doors or other openings in the building

Find additional action steps and resources about portable generators, including a great tips sheet, that you can download and post on your fridge for easy access all winter long from the “safety in the home” section of the public education page of our website.

Photo of Boston skyline

Only weeks remain to apply for the Fire and Life Safety Educator of the Year Award. The deadline is Friday, February 10th. NFPA is looking for fire and life safety educators in the United States and Canada who have these qualifications:

  • Work for a local fire department or fire marshal’s office.
  • Use NFPA educational programs and materials in a consistent and creative way.
  • Demonstrate excellence and innovation, reaching out to the community with NFPA materials.

Applicants can be nominated or self-nominated. Recipients of a state or provincial educator award during 2016 from a fire department association, community organization, or government entity will be considered.

The Educator of the Year receives a $1,000 honorarium and travel to NFPA Conference in Boston in June for an award presentation.

The local fire department receives a $1,000 donation to support public education activities.

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