Did you get a hoverboard for the holidays? You know, the thing that doesn’t actually hover but can literally burst into flames?
If you did, steer clear of American University, which today announced a “temporary ban” on hoverboards on campus (effective immediately), citing “safety concerns” recently raised by a federal agency that regulates products.
American University issues temporary ban on hoverboards. pic.twitter.com/2Mr0C0LIeJ
— Michael Martinez (@MikeMartinezDC) January 4, 2016
AU’s decision comes as the Consumer Product Safety Commission investigates at least 20 reports of hoverboard fires across more than a dozen states. The devices are reportedly prone to catch fire while charging or being used. Many airlines have banned them.
“While the fire hazard has generated significant attention, I do not want to downplay the fall hazard,” CPSC Chairman Elliot F. Kaye said in a December statement. “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…I am also concerned that there is no safety standard in place for hoverboards. Strong safety standards protect consumers.”
Last month, George Washington University also instituted a ban on the devices, which went into effect on Jan. 1.
— Tatiana Cirisano (@tatianacirisano) December 23, 2015
AU, GWU, and nearby Catholic University did not immediately respond to a request for comment this afternoon. (Update 4:06 p.m.: A spokesperson for GWU provided City Desk a copy of the school’s notice to the community.)
In the meantime, hover responsibly.
(Photo by Soar Boards via Flickr, Creative Commons 2.0 license)