Hoverboard fires spark school bans

JSU administration announced on January 11 that hoverboards would not be allowed on campus until further notice.

A JSU news release from January 11 said, “Due to increasing concerns about the safety of some so-called hoverboards and the risk they pose to our community, the storage, use, possession and charging of such devices on Jacksonville State University property is temporarily prohibited until further notice.”

The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) is currently investigating numerous incidents of fires and injuries due to a possibly defective product imported into the country. They have purchased boards from different suppliers, and have gained possession of several that caught fire, in an attempt to track the suppliers of the faulty boards and determine the cause of the fires.

In an online statement posted on December 16, U.S. CPSC Chairman Elliot F. Kaye wrote, “CPSC engineers in our National Product Testing and Evaluation Center in Maryland have tested and will continue to test new and damaged boards in search of an answer for why some models caught fire during the charging stage and others caught fire while in use.”

According to a statement written by J. Allan Brown on the website for his law office in Mobile, Alabama, the CPSC has received complaints of 22 house fires started by hoverboards.

“The British equivalent of the CPSC recalled all hoverboards for sale in the UK after receiving hundreds of complaints of fires being started, largely while the hoverboards were charging,” Brown wrote.

In light of the reported dangers of fires, numerous airlines have forbid passengers from bringing hoverboards onto their planes.

JSU is not the first university to have forbid the possession and use of hoverboards on campus property.

Around 30 other universities — including the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Auburn University and University of Montevallo — have placed bans or partial restrictions on the devices.

Adam Higgins
Staff Reporter

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