U.S. colleges begin banning hoverboards from campus over fire concerns

BOSTON - One of the holiday's hottest presents is now considered contraband at many U.S. colleges.

At least 20 universities have banned or restricted hoverboards on their campuses in recent weeks, saying the two-wheeled, motorized scooters are unsafe.

See Full Article

Beyond the risk of falls and collisions, colleges are citing warnings from federal authorities that some of the self-balancing gadgets have caught on fire.

"It's clear that these things are potentially dangerous," said Len Dolan, managing director of fire safety at Kean University in Union, New Jersey. The public school of 14,000 students issued a campus-wide ban effective on Monday, telling students in an email that any hoverboards found on campus would be confiscated.

"These things are just catching fire without warning, and we don't want that in any of our dorms," Dolan said.

Outright bans also have been issued at schools such as American University and George Washington University, both in Washington, D.C. Other schools said they will forbid the scooters in dorm rooms or campus buildings, a policy adopted at colleges including Louisiana State University, the University of Iowa and the University of Arkansas.

After banning hoverboards from dorms in December, officials at the University of Hartford in Connecticut are now considering a full ban because of concerns over how to store them safely, said David Isgu, a school spokesman. Some of the reported fires have occurred while the boards were being charged, authorities say.

At Ohio State University and Xavier University in Cincinnati, students were told they can bring a hoverboard only if it came with a seal showing that the board meets certain safety standards.

Bryce Colegrove, a sophomore at Shawnee State University in Ohio, got an email from his school on Tuesday telling students to leave their hoverboards at home after the holidays. It was bad timing for Colegrove, who had just received one as a gift from his girlfriend and had even plotted his new routes to class.

"Honestly I was really disappointed," said Colegrove, 20. "I don't think it's right to ban them. I mean, it's a college campus; it's not a high school."

Others took to social media to voice their frustration, with some saying they planned to bring their scooters to school anyway.

Hoverboards, which are made by several brands, already have been banned by the three largest U.S. airlines, citing potential fire danger from the lithium-ion batteries that power them.

The devices also are prohibited on New York City streets, and a new law in California requires riders to be at least 16 and wear a helmet in public.

On Monday, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that it's now investigating 28 fires in 19 states tied to the motorized scooters. Fire officials from New Jersey to California have blamed the boards for fires that damaged homes. The federal commission also said there have been serious injuries caused by falls.



Advertisements

Latest Tech & Science News

  • Surge in value for Bitcoin cryptocurrency

    Tech & Science CTV News
    The value of the Bitcoin, the internet's most widely used virtual currency, has more than doubled since the beginning of 2017, recently passing the symbolic $2,000 mark and setting a new record. While the currency is becoming more widely used and accepted, it is still often associated with the darker side of the internet. Source
  • Snowy plover chick hatches on Oregon beach for first time since 1960s

    Tech & Science CTV News
    PORTLAND, Ore. -- A Western snowy plover chick that hatched on an Oregon beach this spring is the first of its species to emerge successfully in that area in more than 50 years and provides hope that a management plan for the federally threatened species is working, wildlife officials said Wednesday. Source
  • Endangered salamanders put quarry on hold as residents fight against project

    Tech & Science CTV News
    A group of Ontario residents trying to ward off the development of a new quarry in their community say they have found two endangered salamanders that they hope will convince authorities to put an end to the project. Source
  • Temperatures to 'teeter-totter' across Canada this summer

    Tech & Science CBC News
    The lack of a clear El Niño or La Niña out in the Pacific Ocean means weather patterns across much of Canada are likely to remain changeable and active for much of the summer, top meteorologists are forecasting. Source
  • Report on failed European Mars lander concludes brief, unexpected spin to blame

    Tech & Science CBC News
    An independent report has concluded that Europe's Schiaparelli probe crash-landed on Mars last year because its systems couldn't cope with a brief, wild rotation during its descent. The report commissioned by the European Space Agency says the sudden spin — lasting only one second — overloaded the probe's sensors, making it think it had already reached the ground. Source
  • Endangered salamanders put quarry on hold as Ontario town battles against project

    Tech & Science CBC News
    A group of Ontario residents trying to ward off the development of a new quarry in their community say they have found two endangered salamanders that they hope will convince authorities to put an end to the project. Source
  • Google's AI wins Go match in China, but blocks online broadcast

    Tech & Science CBC News
    ?Internet users outside China watched a computer defeat its national go champion, but few Chinese web surfers could see it. Censors blocked access to Tuesday's online broadcast by Google, which organized the game in a town west of Shanghai during a forum on artificial intelligence. Source
  • Rare piebald moose caught on video in western Newfoundland

    Tech & Science CBC News
    A photographer in western Newfoundland captured what he calls a "once in a lifetime" encounter with an unusual patterned moose this week. Gerard Gale, who runs his own photography business, was in Black Duck Siding near Stephenville on Monday when he spotted a large mostly-white moose having a snack on some bushes. Source
  • China blocks online broadcast of computer Go match

    Tech & Science CTV News
    BEIJING -- Internet users outside China watched a computer defeat its national Go champion, but few Chinese web surfers could see it. Censors blocked access to Tuesday's online broadcast by Google, which organized the game in a town west of Shanghai during a forum on artificial intelligence. Source
  • Global seed vault at risk — and climate change is to blame, say experts

    Tech & Science CBC News
    more stories from this episodeManchester attack: Can U.K. stop homegrown terrorism?Sloppy science creates worthless cures and wastes billions, says authorGlobal seed vault at risk — and climate change is to blame, say expertsFull Episode Source