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Hoverboards create new market: fire-resistant bags

The count of brands selling hoverboards on Amazon is far fewer these days, but those that remain have a manufacturer joining their ranks with a safety accessory: a fire-resistant bag.

The new addition to the online retailer's lineup comes as U.S. safety officials try to figure out what is causing one of 2015's hottest holiday gifts to overheat, with 22 reports of hoverboard fires in at least 17 states.

The accessory, which debuted on Amazon a week before Christmas, is the first aimed at consumers by Newtex, a supplier of heat and fire-resistant materials used by the U.S. military and at mines, shipyards and construction sites. "So far, we are keeping up with demand," Rich Lanpheare, Newtex's vice president of sales and business development, told CBS MoneyWatch. "We're getting hundreds of orders from all over the U.S., Canada and Europe."

The HoverCover Fire Resistant Hoverboard Bag retails for $59.45 and comes in "Army green." Lined with material used in industrial fire curtains and cargo fire-containment covers, the primary intent is to hold the hoverboard while it is charging. "If there are any issues, it would retain the heat and [any] fire," Lanpheare said.

The self-balancing scooters -- which do not actually over in mid-air -- are powered by lithium batteries, which can be combustible under certain conditions.

"The issue with lithium batteries can be something during manufacturing, such as a dust particle that can get in there and cause a defect, or damage in transportation, or simply the way users are charging the batteries, and not following the manufacturer's instructions," said Lanpheare, a former director of quality and safety of mine assembly in the U.S. Navy.

Amazon's mid-month introduction of new rules governing hoverboards has whittled down most of the retailer's online listings. Depending on your description of what a hoverboard is, between five and seven brands are currently selling the product on the retailer's U.S. site, compared to dozens of importers and exporters hawking hoverboards on Amazon only a month ago. Prices range from $500 to $700.

Amazon is now stipulating vendors submit documents proving certain safety standards are met, including one that the charges come with the UL label. The result has been a slew of small factory closures in China's electronics manufacturing center of Shenzhen, according to Quartz, which included one estimate that more than half of of Shenzhen's hoverboard factories have stopped making the product completely.

But potential fires are not the only hazards related to hoverboards. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's latest hoverboard-related count also includes 70 emergency room-treated injuries, mostly fall and collision related, spokeswoman Patty Davis said on Thursday.

Florida lawmaker Carolos Curbelo on Saturday tweeted a photo of his injury after falling off a hoverboard:

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