Safety tips for the season's top tech toys

by Sharlyn Petit

Teddy bears and dollhouses may be safer choices, but we have a feeling tech toys are at the top of many holiday wish lists this year, despite the recent stories of hoverboards spontaneously catching fire and drone troubles at area landmarks like the Space Needle and the Seattle Great Wheel.  

We understand the allure  many of these toys and gadgets are pretty cool!  but if you buy one or get one as a gift, keep these three tips in mind to make sure you have a safe and happy holiday.

  1. Know the rules. The popularity of drones is surging this year – so much so that a task force was called together to propose safety guidelines to the Federal Aviation Administration. As of the beginning of December, drones now come with rules. For drones weighing in at over a half a pound (and up to 55 pounds), owners must be age 13+, must register the drone, and can be fined for non-compliance. For drones and other “driver-required” toys, make sure you’re aware of any rules that go along with ownership.
     
  2. Do your research. With so many models to choose from, be sure to verify safety standards from the manufacturer and understand all warranty info before you buy that hoverboard or other tech toy. (We’re talking to you, Mr. "No-I-don’t-need-the-manual"!) Toys like hoverboards are largely unregulated. Follow these tips from the Idaho State Fire Marshal to lessen the risk of injury and fires involved with hoverboard use: follow charging guidelines, never leave them unattended, wear safety equipment when using them, and operate the device for its intended use only.
     
  3. Protect big-ticket items. If laptops, TVs, or other expensive gifts find their way into your home (or garage) this holiday, let us know! You might consider adding more than just standard insurance, or at least make sure the items are added to your personal property inventory.

Looking for budget-friendly, less tech-y items this year? Check out our 5 gift ideas for newly licensed drivers list for quick (and useful) gifts.

by  Jessica Singleton

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