In response to a cautionary statement from the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission on hoverboard-related fires, Haverford has decided to prohibit the “use, storage, and possession of” hoverboards on campus.
Executive Director of Campus Safety Tom King sent out an email to all students January 15 referencing the CPSC report, noting that any other “electronic self-balancing devices” would also be banned at Haverford.
In addition to warning consumers about the hazards of the boards, the CPSC, an independent governmental agency, is currently investigating fires and other incidents across the country that have been caused by the devices. According to the CPSC report, some boards have caught fire when charging while others have become ignited while in use.
Another source of concern is that there are no safety standards in place for the devices, says CPSC Chairman Elliott F. Kaye. And, in addition to fire-related incidents, the CPSC has recently received reports of concussions, fractures, contusions/abrasions, and internal organ injuries caused from falling off the boards.
To date, no hoverboard-related injuries have been reported on Haverford’s campus. However, students appear to understand the reasoning for the ban.
“Ultimately, I think [the decision to ban] is mostly related to the risk of the boards exploding when over-charged,” said Charlie Marquardt ’16. “I feel like that is a valid concern from the school in a day and age when pretty much all electronics are just ‘plug in and charge overnight’ kind of things, which is apparently exactly what you’re not supposed to do with hoverboards.”
Haverford is not alone in prohibiting the boards. According to a recent Huffington Post article, at least 20 universities have banned or restricted the devices on their campuses.
However, not many Haverford students seemed to use the boards before the ban.
“Our campus is so tiny,” added Marquardt. “Why would anyone really even need one?”
Photos by Reid Cohen ’18.