Risk Management Services

A Unit of the Business Affairs Division
Friday, January 8, 2016

Rapidly increasing in popularity, the hoverboard is a self-balancing motorized board with one or two wheels that children, teens, and adults can enjoy. Hoverboards create new safety challenges for colleges and universities to consider and recent reports of hoverboards exploding or combusting have also raised safety concerns.

The National Fire Protection Assocation (NFPA) recently issued fire safety warnings for hoverboards.  NFPA stated some hoverboard fires involved a lithium-ion battery or charger and warn of the following signs of a problem: leaking fluids, excessive heat, odor, sparking, and smoke.   There have been numerous reports of these devices catching fire during charging, storage and use.  Some recommendations are:  do not leave a hoverboard unattended while charging, do not plug them in overnight, only use the charger that came with the board.  Many airlines have banned hoverboards from carry-on and checked baggage.  A hoverboard safety tip sheet is available here.  Please print and distribute as necessary.

The University of Arizona restricts the use of any personal transportation device (i.e. skateboard, bicycle, hoverboard, etc.) in university buildings that is not required due to disability.    Hoverboards are completely restricted by Residience Life.  They may not be used, charged, or stored in residence halls.  These restrictions are in effect until safety groups such as the Consumer Product Safety Commission declare these items to be mechanically fire safe.  

If you have any questions regarding fire safety of hoverboards, please contact the University Fire Marshal at 621-7691.