Hoverboards banned in university buildings


Kate Jamison, Online News Editor

After a series of hazardous explosions raised concerns about the safety of “hoverboards,” Tulane University no longer allows the possession, storage, charging or use of these self-balancing electronic skateboards inside university facilities or buildings.

Hoverboards gained national attention when they surged in popularity in late 2015 and again when users reported the dangerous and unexpected explosions of their boards. In December, a hoverboard caught fire and burned an entire home to the ground in Jean Lafitte, Louisiana. Another Louisiana home was damaged by a hoverboard explosion one week later in Prairieville.

Joyce K. Fred, the university vice president for insurance and risk management, emailed the Tulane community with the new policy on Friday. She cited the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s safety concerns of the devices as the reason for their prohibition from campus.

The chairman of the CPSC, Elliot F. Kaye, issued a statement on hoverboards three weeks before Tulane announced the on-campus ban. Kaye said the boards are hazardous due to their capacity to catch fire as well as the possibility of falling from the board.

USA Today reported in November that hoverboards were the “hottest” gift for the holidays in 2015. The boards cost anywhere between $280 and $800.

New York City Police Department made hoverboards’ use illegal in the city in November. Offenders can receive up to a $50 fine.

The email didn’t state what the punishment will be for violators of the university policy, but resident advisors have been instructed to confiscate them if they are found in residence halls.

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