At least 3 Heartland universities ban hoverboards

Heartland universities debate hoverboard ban"

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Safety concerns are the main reason college administrators are taking official stands against hoverboards.

Southern Illinois University in Carbondale have decided to ban them altogether starting in January.

The decision to ban hoverboards on campus was decided due to fire safety concerns, according to Kevin Bame, vice chancellor for administration and finance.

A number of media reports indicate that hoverboards, a type of motorized skateboard or scooter, have recently been associated with fires that occurred during charging or spontaneously during use.

"Like a number of campuses across the country, we are banning Hoverboards for the immediate future," Bame said in a SIU press release. "We ask students returning to campus for the spring semester to leave them at home."

SIU's spring semester begins on Tuesday, Jan. 19.

At least two other Heartland universities have also decided to ban hoverboards from their campuses.

These self-balancing scooters and other "motorized vehicles" will not be allowed in the residence halls at Southeast Missouri State University starting in the spring semester.

"We don't want someone bringing their hoverboard, plugging it in, going home for the weekend, and then having an incident in a residence hall," Assistant Vice President Bruce Skinner said. "So, we had to act quicker on those, because we don't want them stored there and have a fire because of overcharging."

According to administrators, the university is considering national information related to safety issues reported with hoverboards, but have made no policy changes at this time.

As for other Missouri higher education institutions, places like the University of Missouri have officially banned hoverboards, at least for now, after the Consumer Product Safety Commission cited safety concerns about the products.

In an email sent to students on Friday, Dec. 8, MU administrators said, "... hoverboards are prohibited from use and/or storage on campus, including in residence halls, MU-owned and operated apartments and other facilities."

Students are asked to not bring them to campus.

However, MU administrators says this interim policy could be modified after campus officials have an opportunity to review and discuss the findings in a recent Consumer Product Safety Commission study.

Previously, the CPSC Chairman, Elliot Kaye, said he was concerned about the lack of safety standards in place for hoverboards.

CPSC has received dozens of reports of injuries from hospital ERs that we have contracts with and they continue to feed us real-time data. Some of these injuries have been serious, including concussions, fractures, contusions/abrasions, and internal organ injuries.  Always wear a proper helmet and padding while using this product.

Other schools like the University of Kentucky have also banned the segway-like toys. In a news release campus officials said the ban includes residence halls, university apartments, Greek houses, academic buildings and all other campus buildings and grounds. Also included are off-campus properties that UK controls.

The ban at UK is effective immediately.

Auburn and LSU are also implementing bans until there are set safety standards for all models.

A number of jurisdictions, shipping companies, airlines and other colleges and universities have banned these devices.

The CPSC offers the following tips to help reduce the risk of an incident:

  • Avoid buying the product at a location (like a mall kiosk) or on a website that does not have information about who is selling the product and how they can be contacted if there is a problem.  If you do not think you could find the seller again, were a problem to arise with your board, that should be a warning to you not to do business with them.
  • Do not charge a hoverboard overnight or when you are not able to observe the board.
  • Charge and store in an open dry area away from combustibles (meaning items that can catch fire).
  • Do not charge directly after riding.  Let the device cool for an hour before charging.
  • If giving a hoverboard to someone for the holidays, leave it in its partially charged state.  Do not take it out of the package to bring it to a full charge and then wrap it back up. Often, the product comes partially charged.  Leave it in that state until it is ready to be used.
  • Look for the mark of a certified national testing laboratory.  While this does not rule out counterfeits, the absence of such a mark means your safety is likely not a priority for that manufacturer.
  • Do not ride near vehicular traffic.
  • It is important to wear safety gear when using a hoverboard. CPSC recommends the same safety gear that you would wear when riding a skateboard -- a skateboard helmet, and knee and elbow pads and wrist guards for protection from falls

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