Date:3 July 2017
The small, ball-bearing devices are transitioning from it’s ubiquitous, crazed obsession to an annoyance in record time. Fidget spinners finally completed the 21st century novelty toy cycle this month by becoming something that could potentially burn down your house.
This low-tech toy is touted as an antidote to children with ADHD, anxiety and autism to help develop their fine motor skills.
The momentum of the toy provides a pleasing sensory experience by rotating the bearing in the centre between your fingers to set the multi-lobed flat structure in a spinning motion.
But recently this spinning craze started getting a bad reputation: WBRC Fox 6 news reported that at least two Bluetooth-enabled spinners have now burst into flames while charging.
Two mothers in Michigan and Alabama told the news outlet their children’s Bluetooth-enabled fidget spinners burst into flames while plugged into outlets.
The fidget spinner was charging for less than 45mins before it caught on fire, the toys melted and burned the surfaces they were sitting on.
The cause of the fire is almost certainly a cheap unsafe lithium-ion battery. With the speed that toys become popular and mass-produced these days, it’s increasingly the case that the batteries inside don’t have many of the necessary safety features.
Lithium-ion batteries can store a lot of power and if it’s accidentally released all at once, it normally makes flames.
There are two potential takeaways from this: don’t leave cheapo electronics on charge out of your supervision and, just maybe, stop putting Bluetooth into perfectly harmless toys just for no particular reason.