Could fidget spinners be a fire hazard? That's the question that is being raised after a Bluetooth-enabled version of the hugely popular toy overheated and exploded while charging in a family home in the US.
Kimberly Allums, of Gardendale, Alabama first became aware of the minor fire when she heard her son screaming upstairs. A fidget spinner had been left on charge for just 45 minutes when it suddenly burst into flames.
Fortunately no one was harmed by the flaming novelty item and a house fire was averted, but the incident has prompted fears that other unbranded stress aids could pose a health threat to spinner owners — particularly children, among whom the toys are particularly popular.
"He noticed that it burst into flames and he just started screaming," Allums told local TV channel WBRC Fox 6 News. "I was downstairs and all I heard was 'fire..fire' and the fidget spinner had literally, It was smoking, It was in flames."
Thankfully Allums' son quickly doused the spinner in water in a nearby sink, although the faulty toy did leave a burn in the carpet.
"We were about five to ten minutes from leaving the house for the day before this happened. So it was nothing but God that held us back because I was actually running late that morning," Allums continued.
"I just really want people to be aware of this because a lot of people have been inboxing me reaching out to me leaving messages saying, 'my child has this same fidget spinner'. Anytime, you have anything that needs to be charged, we really need to be paying attention to the manufacturers of these, doing our research."
Allums also stated that she is attempting to identify the manufacturer of her son's fidget spinner, but due to the toy being an unlicensed item, the only detail she really has to go on is a "Made in China" label.
Fidget spinners have quickly become 2017's biggest toy craze, but this isn't the first time concerns have been raised over "spinner safety". As well as general worries that smaller children could choke on spinners' arms — leading to some schools banning them entirely — the popularity of custom-built spinners with electronic components or unique, often more dangerous designs has increased in recent months.
Less than two weeks ago, The US' Transportation Security Administration had to remind passengers that spinners with bladed edges, like this metallic ninja star-like creation, are not appropriate hand luggage items.