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Delta, other airlines ban 'hoverboards' from airplanes due to fire risk

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A popular holiday gift this year is being banned from Delta Airlines planes.

The airline announced Thursday that it will not allow the so-called hoverboards and all "lithium battery powered self-balancing personal transportation devices" in carry-on and checked baggage. (These toys, which are popular this holiday season, are kind of like skateboards that move as a rider leans one way or the other, the Washington Post describes.)

The ban is effective Friday.

Delta says these devices have batteries with strengths that "often" exceed government limits for what's allowed on an airplane, noting, "while occurrences are uncommon, these batteries can spontaneously overheat and pose a fire hazard risk."

American Airlines and United are also banning hoverboards, according to USA Today, and a handful of other smaller carriers have already moved to ban them.

Hoverboards are starting on fire

These bans come as the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) investigates the toys. The agency has received "at least 10" reports of hoverboard fires, CPSC spokesman Scott Wolfson told NBC News. Videos of hoverboard fires have been posted on YouTube as well.

Safety concerns with the hoverboards have also prompted online discount retailer Overstock.com to stop selling the toys, the company said in a news release Thursday.

Delta also noted that any spare batteries or batteries not installed in a device must be in carry-on luggage, and not in checked baggage. The Federal Aviation Administration has more information on packing spare lithium batteries here.

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