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

  • Archeologists discover Greco-Roman era building in Egypt

    Tech & Science CTV News
    CAIRO -- Egyptian archeologists say they have discovered parts of a huge red brick building dating back to the Greco-Roman period north of Cairo. The Antiquities Ministry says Wednesday the building was found in the San El-Hagar archaeological site in Gharbia province. Source
  • Feel awkward unfollowing that Instagrammer? Just click 'mute'

    Tech & Science CTV News
    Instagram has announced that it is rolling out a new ability to secretly 'mute' annoying accounts -- for both posts and stories. Here's how it's done... Instagram is finally letting users block stories and posts from Instagrammers that they may find annoying. Source
  • Top 10 new species of 2018 include volcanic bacterium and a hitchhiking beetle

    Tech & Science CBC News
    From a tree to an orangutan to bacterium, the annual top 10 new species list has the newest stars of Earth's biodiversity. The list is compiled by the State University of New York's College of Environmental Science and Forestry and its International Institute for Species Exploration (IISE), which first began their list in 2008. Source
  • Chimpanzee beds are cleaner than ours, study finds

    Tech & Science CBC News
    This is an excerpt from Second Opinion, a weekly roundup of eclectic and under-the-radar health and medical science news emailed to subscribers every Saturday morning. If you haven't subscribed yet, you can do that by clicking here. Who knew that our closest animal relatives, the great apes — specifically chimpanzees — keep tidier bedrooms than we humans do? Source
  • Legend of Loch Ness monster facing DNA testing

    Tech & Science CTV News
    WELLINGTON, New Zealand - The stories seem as tall as the lake is deep. For hundreds of years, visitors to Scotland's Loch Ness have described seeing a monster that some believe lurks in the depths. Source
  • Amazon urged not to sell face-recognition tool to police

    Tech & Science CBC News
    The American Civil Liberties Union and other privacy activists are asking Amazon to stop marketing a powerful facial recognition tool to police, saying law enforcement agencies could use the technology to "easily build a system to automate the identification and tracking of anyone. Source
  • Russia's 1st sea-borne nuclear power plant arrives in the Arctic

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Russia's first floating nuclear power plant arrived in the Arctic port of Murmansk over the weekend in preparation for its maiden mission: providing electricity to an isolated Russian town across the Bering Strait from Alaska. The state company behind the plant, called the Akademik Lomonosov, says it could pioneer a new power source for remote regions of the planet, but green campaigners have expressed concern about the risk of nuclear accidents. Source
  • Black bear kills dog that jumped out car window in Jasper National Park

    Tech & Science CTV News
    JASPER, Alta. -- A black bear is being watched in Jasper National Park after it killed a dog that jumped out of a vehicle. Parks Canada officials say the encounter happened on Wednesday when a car pulled over to the side of the road to view the bear and the dog jumped out of an open window. Source
  • ACLU: Amazon shouldn't sell face-recognition tech to police

    Tech & Science CTV News
    SEATTLE -- The American Civil Liberties Union and other privacy activists are asking Amazon to stop marketing a powerful facial recognition tool to police, saying law enforcement agencies could use the technology to "easily build a system to automate the identification and tracking of anyone. Source
  • Siri winning battle of the virtual assistants in Canada: poll

    Tech & Science CTV News
    TORONTO -- In the heated battle between Amazon, Apple, Google and Microsoft to get consumers hooked on their virtual assistants, Siri seems to be enjoying the first-mover advantage. Just shy of 40 per cent of Canadian adults recently used a virtual assistant, according to a report by the Media Technology Monitor, which polled almost 8,200 Canadians by phone late last year. Source