UMass bans hoverboards amid safety concerns

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – UMass says they’ll be adding a ban on hoverboards, segways and battery operated scooters to the student code of conduct after reports of explosions linked to lithium-ion batteries.

UMass has joined UConn, Quinnipiac, Emerson and others in banning hoverboards from campus.

Dr. Donald Robinson, the Executive Director of Environmental Health & Safety at UMass told 22News, “The Consumer Products Safety Commission is trying to determine the root cause of these fires so we are tracking that and based on their evaluation , we will then determine our next steps.”

Steps that may include lifting the ban if safety concerns are met by manufacturers. Students told 22News they agree.

“There are lots of people who live on campus who could have hoverboard in their dorms. People riding them in the hallways, they could light on fire. Fire alarm goes off. Lots of issues. And they are not that necessary for residential living,” said Tom Nilsson, a senior at UMass who is from Longmeadow.

Hoverboards have been blamed for fires in 12 states and with 70 emergency room visits for burns.

UMass students are on their holiday break but the university says if you’ve unwrapped a segway for Christmas, don’t bring it back with you. They are specifically concerned about the use of hoverboards and segways in the residential dormitories where often students leave them unattended and charging.

“The sidewalks are pretty narrow and using those kind of things on the sidewalks just isn’t feasible especially when you think of all the people who have to commute across campus. It’s a big campus and I was actually run into by one of them,” said UMass senior Sarah Berman.

Hoverboards are also banned from streets and sidewalks in New York City.

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