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Fidget Spinners On Fire, And We Mean That Literally: Electronic Versions Explode While Charging

30 June 2017, 7:23 am EDT By Aaron Mamiit Tech Times
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The popularity of fidget spinners have caught fire over the past few months, but unfortunately, so have the toys themselves. In two separate incidents, electronic fidget spinners burst into flames while they were charging.  ( Drew Angerer | Getty Images )

Fidget spinners are the latest craze among kids of all ages, with their popularity catching fire over the past few months. Unfortunately, "catching fire" is no longer just an expression.

Following the trend set by a couple of popular products, electronic versions of fidget spinners were reported to have burst into flames while they were being charged. Here we go again.

Fidget Spinners Explode, Catch Fire

In two separate incidents, one from Fenton, Michigan and the other from Gardendale, Alabama, a Bluetooth-enabled fidget spinner burst into flames while being charged.

In both reports, the family was able to put out the fire before the burning fidget spinner was able to deal significant damage. However, the message was clear: fidget spinners are now fire hazards.

Regular fidget spinners do not come with electronic components, but there are some versions of the toy that come with LED lights and can connect to a smartphone through a Bluetooth connection so that they can play music while they spin.

Fidget spinners have been around for a while, but the massive jump in popularity pushed businesses to try to grab a share of the cash being spent on them. Innovations are required to have products stand out, which is probably why electronic fidget spinners suddenly flooded the market.

Unregulated devices with batteries, such as hoverboards, and products rushed to the market, such as Samsung's Galaxy Note 7, present considerable risks for such failures. These two products are infamous for exploding batteries and catching fire, and fidget spinners have now joined the notorious list.

Hoverboards, Samsung Galaxy Note 7, And Fidget Spinners

Hoverboards, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, and fidget spinners now share the distinction of massively popular products that carry the risk of bursting into flames. A previous Tech Times report listed two reasons behind explosions of lithium-ion batteries, which power most electronic devices in the market.

The first reason is a short circuit, which could happen when a battery is punctured by the device being dropped or due to metallic particles found in cheaper batteries.

The second reason is heat, which is the suspected reason for most cases of exploding lithium-ion batteries. High-quality batteries come with safety features to prevent overheating, but cheaper batteries or faulty ones will not prevent this from happening.

How To Keep Yourself Safe From Exploding Fidget Spinners

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has now launched an investigation into the two incidents of exploding fidget spinners, in addition to an investigation into the toys being choking hazards. In the meantime, the CPSC issued recommendations for users with electronic fidget spinners, and for battery-powered devices in general.

The CPSC said that people should never charge a battery-powered product overnight, and that people should follow the instructions and use the official charger for devices. Unfortunately, both points do not apply to fidget spinners, as the two reports claimed that the spinners exploded only after a short while since being plugged in to charge and did not come with instructions nor a separate charger.

It would seem that the only way to protect yourself from exploding fidget spinners is to keep an eye on them while they are charging, and check every once in a while if the toy is getting too hot. You could also opt to purchase a non-electronic fidget spinner, which might not be as cool as the LED and speaker-equipped ones, but would certainly not carry the risk of burning your house down.

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