Last March, ETSU placed a temporary ban on hover boards.
Due to fire safety concerns raised by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the National Fire Protection Association, ETSU has banned the use and possession of hover boards on campus.
This semester, ETSU sent an email to students, faculty and staff, reiterating the ban on these devices.
“We are concerned about student safety and our facilities,” said Daniel O’Brien, director of ETSU’s Environmental Health and Safety. “It’s not necessarily the hover board, but the batteries that are catching on fire.”
According to the CPSC, batteries from over 500,000 devices were recalled from ten different manufacturers. Citing the lithium-ion battery packs, the risk of overhearing, smoking, catching fire or exploding is heightened.
Gaining popularity in the beginning of 2015, hover boards became the hottest gifts among millennials and young children. Celebrities such as Wiz Khalifa, Justin Bieber and Kendall Jenner were first seen tweeting, vining and snapchatting their new gadgets. With free advertising from different artists, many small companies began mass producing these hover boards, and their batteries, in China.
Reports of fire began as these boards became more prominent in the United States.
By July 2016, according to the CPSC, hover boards had caused over $2 million dollars’ worth of property damage. There is no single reason these boards are catching on fire, which is one of the reasons this ban is in place.
“We don’t want them stored on facilities or used in the buildings,” said O’Brien. “That’s prohibited.”
Riding the hover board indoors can also be dangerous for other people who could be in the hallways as well.
ETSU has this temporary ban in place for mobility devices that are not approved under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The NFPA and CPSC are performing ongoing investigations into why these batteries are causing fires and why, even after recall, these batters and boards are still being imported.
Until further information is released about the boards and their batteries, the ban will remain.