As of Monday, February 8, 2016, hover boards are now banned from campus, as per the university. The ban is to take effect immediately and will include the devices from all areas of campus, indoor and outdoor.
“Due to recent news reports about hover board self-balancing scooters catching fire, the decision has been made to prohibit these units from campus,” said ENMU President Steven Gamble in the email sent out to students and staff.
ENMU is not the first university to ban hoverboards from their campus. San Francisco University (SFU) has also recently banned the boards from their campus. According to SFU student newspaper, the Golden Gate Xpress, students enjoyed using these boards to make long treks across campus in a speedy fashion. The boards have been banned on both campuses due to fire concerns.
A home in San Francisco caught fire due to a charging hoverboard left unattended, killed the owner’s two dogs, and burned most of the house on January 20.
Due to this report, SFU was prompted to issue the email that banned the hoverboards from campus. According to ABC News 7 San Francisco, the consumer that purchased the hoverboard had received zero notifications of any recall on the hover product.
As of January, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said that it was investigating 39 hoverboard related fire incidents in 19 different states. The focus of these investigations, according to the Chicago Tribune, is the battery unit of the product. These products contain lithium ion batteries, which can overheat during charging, and they tend to heat to the point of catching fire. The CPSC has advised consumers to charge the products in an open area and to have a fire extinguisher readily available in the home of use.
Along with the information presented by the CPSC, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has also issued a hand out that outlines certain issues pertaining to the hoverboards. The hand out contains guidelines related to purchasing hoverboards and some warning signs that should be observed. The warning signs include leaking fluids, excessive heat, odor, sparking, and smoking.
ENMU has stated that if the issues regarding hoverboard safety are resolved, the ban will be revisited. Until then, the question is, whether or not this will become a big issue among students on campus.
“The only big issue this will raise is how angry people will be that they can not use the object they spent so much money on,” said student Cynthia Martinez.
Martinez believes that people will find other means of transportation, and that the school will most likely revisit the ban.
“This will most likely become a big deal because it is a fad that is running through campus, it would be similar the school had trying to ban long boards when they were popular,” said alumni Alysha Baldwin.
Neither of these girls had ever heard of any type of safety issues associated with the hoverboards, other than balance issues. When informed of the fire hazards, they were able to relate to the university and understand why ENMU would ban them from campus.