This NFIRSGram explains how to code a fire involving a hoverboard in the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS).
Recent reports of fires involving battery-motorized hoverboards have raised questions of how to code these types of fires in NFIRS. Basic NFIRS rules apply.
What is a hoverboard?
A hoverboard is a self-balancing, motorized, wheeled scooter similar to a miniature Segway that can be used for personal transportation or used as a toy. This NFIRSGram focuses on battery-motorized hoverboard fires.
The battery-motorized device is a mobile property vehicle. The incident type code that fits best for this device when it is the cause of a fire is
130 – mobile property fire, other. Whenever a code for “other” is used, an explanation should always be included in the Remarks section on the incident report.
Where did the fire occur?
- If the fire was confined to the hoverboard, regardless of where the fire occurred (i.e., in, on or outside a structure), the incident type code is 130.
- If the hoverboard was in or on a structure and the fire damage extended beyond the hoverboard, then the incident is a structure fire (110 or 120 series); the hoverboard becomes contents of the structure.
What other modules must be completed?
- If the incident code is 130, the Basic and Fire modules are required.
- If the incident code is in the 110 or 120 series, the Basic, Fire and Structure Fire modules are required.
- Optional modules can be completed (e.g., Resource or Personnel modules, as usual per NFIRS rules).
What are the ignition factors?
Recent hoverboard fires were linked to the battery. If so, Heat Source, Item First Ignited, and Factors Contributing to Ignition would be linked to the battery:
- Heat Source – Radiated or conducted heat from operating equipment (Code 12).
- Item First Ignited – This should be the item first ignited by the heat source (e.g., plastic housing).
- Factors Contributing to Ignition (e.g., design, manufacturing, installation deficiency) (Code 40).
Which do I document: Equipment Involved in Ignition or Mobile Property Involved?
For any mobile property fire, NFIRS allows completion of either the Equipment Involved in Ignition section or Mobile Property Involved section — but not both sections; however, the Remarks section is used to document information that was not captured elsewhere on the report.
- Complete the Equipment Involved in Ignition section to identify the battery if it was the heat source: Equipment Involved – battery (Code 229), Power Source – batteries and low voltage (Code 12).
- Or complete the Mobile Property Involved section to identify Mobile Property Type, Make and Model: Mobile Property Type – passenger road vehicles, other (Code 10).
What other codes are used on the Basic and Fire modules?
The codes vary based on the incident. The goal is an accurate, complete and detailed incident report.
What else is important to include in the report?
It is extremely important to include a good narrative. The Remarks section of the report should include a detailed narrative of the incident that includes the term “hoverboard” to help in the identification and investigation of hoverboard fires.
This example has the battery as the cause of the fire. If the cause was not the battery, other codes would be used, for example, the charger (Code 228 for Equipment Involved).