Local colleges saying no to hoverboards

ELIZABETHTOWN, Pa. (WHTM) – At least three colleges in central Pennsylvania are telling students to leave their hoverboards at home.

Elizabethtown College, Lebanon Valley College, and Millersville University don’t want the boards in their residence halls following reports the lithium batteries can explode. Videos of the boards catching fire began surfacing last month.

“The college has decided to ban hoverboards because of the fire safety risk they present,” Andrew Powell, Elizabethtown’s director of campus security told ABC 27 News.

Powell said the college banned the boards after hearing that the United Sates Consumer Product Safety Commission is investigating 28 fires in 19 states.

“That’s something that’s definitely concerning,” he said. “One of the biggest risks on any college campus is a fire at a residence hall.”

“We take precautions to prohibit certain items; hot plates, space heaters, things that could cause a fire,” Powell said. “We determined hoverboards fall within that category.”

Some airlines and cities have also banned the boards.

Dylan Kreiger, an E-town freshman, said he didn’t mind the ban.

“I understand the safety concerns,” he said. “They have to watch out for everyone else’s safety.”

Melissa Rasser, who lives in Bainbridge, had similar feelings.

“You can’t predict when they might burst into flames. You can’t predict their safety,” she said.

Powell said the decision to ban the boards on campus is another way they are keeping students safe.

“Risk of injury or death to students is something we try to mitigate as best we can,” he said. “The ban and prohibition of these devices is simply that it’s risk mitigation.”

At least 20 universities nationwide have banned or restricted hoverboards on their campuses.

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