A lot of kids are asking for the new self-balancing, motorized scooters, better known as 'hoverboards,' for Christmas this year. But these come with a warning from the National Association of State Fire Marshals.

There have been reports that these hoverboards have burst into flames. The fires are said to have occurred in a number of other countries, but last month, a Lafitte, Louisiana, residence was badly damaged by a fire believed to have started when the scooter ignited while being recharged.

Last week, an Alabama man's scooter quickly erupted into flames as he rode down a sidewalk. According to a news release, video footage of the incident shows projectiles blasting from the scooter as it burned. The projectiles seem to be components of the device's battery pack.

In response to growing reports concerning the fires, the NASFM has issued an advisory to encourage consumers to research "whether the scooters are in compliance with applicable and accepted inspection standards before making a purchase."

"Unfortunately, the fire that occurred in Lafitte involving a hoverboard is not a unique occurrence," said State Fire Marshal Butch Browning, Jr., who also serves as president of the NASFM Board of Directors. "The sheer number of incidents occurring around the country, and abroad, is what prompted our organization to address this serious issue on a national level."

Buyers need to look for indicators of acceptance by recognized testing organizations, which may appear on the item's packaging. Consumers should also consider purchasing the items from reputable online and local stores that offer warranties.

Some other safety measures to consider are taking care that the hoverboards aren't overcharged or left unattended while charging, following the manufacturer's instructions when charging, and avoiding the use of improper or imitation chargers.

For more information, visit the NASFM's website.