Trendy toys come and go. When I was a lad, we had pogs, little cardboard discs that you could flip with a bigger pog — or something. We were never quite sure.
The important thing was that pogs didn't spontaneously combust, which is more than you can say about fidget spinners, the latest doodad destined for a "15 Things You Remember About the 2010s" list on Buzzfeed in 2039. Yes, a fidget spinner exploded, caught fire and nearly burned down a house. Worse still, it probably won't be the last time something like this happens.
This information comes from WBRC Fox 6 News, a Fox affiliate in Birmingham, Alabama. Kimberly Allums, a local mom, was about to leave the house when she heard her son shouting upstairs. Young Master Allums had plugged in his fidget spinner to recharge it (it was a new-fangled model with an integrated Bluetooth speaker), and the toy started smoking and caught fire.
Allums the Younger acted quickly, dumping the fire hazard in the sink and dousing it with water. Although the flaming spinner scorched the sink and the carpet, neither person nor property was seriously damaged. The fidget spinner was rendered unspinnable, but in this writer's opinion, society is probably better off.
Kimberly Allums is trying to discover the exact model number and manufacturer of the device, but it isn't so easy. The gadget comes from China; beyond that, there was precious little information available on the product box.
"Anytime you have something that needs to be charged," she sagely pointed out, "we really need to be paying attention to the manufacturers of these, doing our research."
In other words, if you have a fidget spinner of mysterious origins that has a battery in it, either never plug it in, or watch it like a hawk while it's charging. Shoddy batteries from second-rate junk peddlers are nothing new, and they can indeed explode and catch fire. Maybe they overheat; maybe there's just no quality control. Whatever the reason, it can happen to anything with a battery — even a high-profile smartphone, like the Galaxy Note 7.
The good news, of course, is that if your fidget spinner doesn't have a battery, you have nothing to worry about — at least from a fire-safety perspective. The scorn of your peers and the harsh judgment of your fellow man may be punishment enough.