University Ban on Hoverboards

To ensure the safety of the campus community, UMass Amherst prohibits the use of hoverboards, currently linked to fires in 12 states. The campus-wide ban, which includes residential facilities and other university buildings, is effective Friday, January 8, 2016.

We urge everyone to leave hoverboards and similar devices at home. This includes self-balancing scooters, battery-operated scooters and hands-free Segways.

Prior to the effective date of this ban, a number of retailers pulled hoverboards from their shelves amid reports of fires and explosions caused by poor quality lithium-ion batteries in the devices that are prone to malfunction and overheating. By January 1, 2016, 16 fires were reported across the country and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission was investigating another 22 reports of fires and 70 emergency room visits for associated burn injuries. Many airlines also ban hoverboards on flights.

With the ban on hoverboards, UMass Amherst joins a growing number of institutions, including American University, George Washington University, Emerson College, Louisiana State University and the University of Denver, that have barred their use.

UMass Environmental Health and Safety staff will continue to monitor news and regulations regarding hoverboards. If these products become safer, we will reevaluate this decision and update the campus at that time.

We appreciate your cooperation and thank you for helping make UMass Amherst a safer place to live, study and work.

Donald Robinson
Executive Director
Environmental Health and Safety