Rutgers Officials Ban Hoverboards From Campus

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Rutgers officials have placed a temporary ban on hoverboards, citing concerns that the devices have been known to catch on fire.

In a university-wide email sent out earlier this afternoon, William R. Scott, the school's chief of emergency services, wrote that hoverboards may not be "operated, charged or stored" on any Rutgers-owned buildings or properties.

The ban applies to the New Brunswick, Newark and Camden campuses.

"The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has raised concerns about the safety of hoverboards and several agencies are currently investigating fires and injuries related to these devices," Scott wrote.

"In addition, numerous media reports have documented incidents of fires during both use and charging periods."

Contrary to the name, hoverboards do not float or hover, but are instead connected to the ground via a set of two wheels. The device is also referred to as a self-balancing scooter or hands-free segway. 

Hoverboards became widely popular during the 2015 holiday season. Numerous media reports of hoverboards catching on fire prompted the U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission to launch an investigation into them last month. 

The CPSC is currently investigating 37 reported hoverboard fires across 19 states, including reports from New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. 

The commission also added the hoverboard users risk falling, which according to the CPSC have resulted in "dozens of reports of injuries from hospital ERs."

"Some of these injuries have been serious, including concussions, fractures, contusions/abrasions, and internal organ injuries." 

Rutgers chief William Scott wrote that the ban on hoverboards will be reevaluated pending the results of the CPSC's investigation. Scott added that students using hoverboards off campus should follow CPSC's safety guidelines, along with those laid out by the National Fire Proection Association. 

The move to ban hoverboards follows in step with many other universities in New Jersey and across the country, including Montclair State University on January 13, Stockton College on January 12, and Kean University on January 5. 

Reporter at New Brunswick Today

Award-winning, multimedia journalist with experience in digital first and print-media. Daniel has covered local, state and regional issues, and utilized photography, social media and has written in-depth articles to produce high-quality work.