NJIT and a dozen other New Jersey colleges ban the boards following numerous reports of combustion
By Stephen Chan
Hoverboards, the two-wheeled “segways without handles,” were banned by administration just before the start of the semester. The ban is in response to the dozens of cases of combustion popping up all over the nation.
According to the email sent to members of the NJIT community last Friday, January 15th, “Due to safety concerns associated with “Hoverboards” that have been raised by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the potential impact to the safety of our university community, New Jersey Institute of Technology has imposed a ban on use of these devices.”
The ban, which is effective immediately, is to be strictly enforced all throughout campus. In addition, the boards may not be stored in residence halls or kept anywhere on campus.
“Students are subject to sanctions under the University’s Code of Conduct if found to be in violation of this ban,” says the email.
The oftentimes “spontaneous combustion” is allegedly due to the lithium-ion batteries inside the boards. In many cases, the boards have been said to burst into flames while charging overnight. However, in at least one case seen on YouTube, a board ignited when a user stepped on it for an unboxing video.
As of writing this article, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is looking at 37 reported hoverboard combustions. Of that number, there are two reported incidents in New Jersey.
Colleges across the US are not the only entities banning the boards. New York City has a strict ban on the boards and cites usage as traffic violations. Many residences now do not permit hoverboards. Even airlines have taken steps to keep hoverboards outside the airports.
For now, until further notice, hoverboards are indefinitely banned.
Hoverboards were among the most popular gifts for the 2015 holiday season.
The lithium-ion batteries found in the boards are similar to the battries in our phones, except much bigger. They can also get much more hot.
If you use a hoverboard, always use the proper protection, such as elbow pads, knee pads, and a helmet.
Do not charge hoverboards overnight.
Keep mind of the weight that a hoverboard brand can handle.
Hoverboard manufacturers have different instructions for their own brands. Read those instructions carefully.
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