WASHINGTON - It was one of the hottest gift items this holiday season, but students at two D.C. universities will not be welcome to bring them on to campus for the new year.
American University and George Washington University have prohibited hoverboards as well as hands-free segways after recent safety concerns raised by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
The American University community received this message from the school on Monday:
"Due to safety concerns associated with hoverboards that have been raised by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the potential impact to the safety of our community, American University has decided to institute a temporary ban on these devices. Effective January 4, 2016, and until further notice, hoverboards, also known as self-balancing scooters and hands-free segways, will not be permitted on campus or in any AU owned building. They will be added to the prohibited items list.
This action is being taken as part of the university's efforts to maintain a safe campus through a comprehensive fire prevention program. Several agencies are investigating fires and injuries related to these devices. This link provides information from the CPSC: http://www.cpsc.gov/en/About-CPSC/Chairman/Kaye-Biography/Chairman-Kayes-Statements/Statements/Statement-from-the-US-CPSC-Chairman-Elliot-F-Kaye-on-the-safety-of-hoverboards/.
If you own a hoverboard, please do not bring the device on campus. Once the CPSC has concluded their review, Risk Management will revisit the status of this temporary ban in consultation with the Office of the Campus Life, Housing and Dining Programs.
Thank you for your attention to this matter and for your support of campus safety initiatives."
Students, faculty and staff at George Washington University received an email back on Dec. 22 about the ban of these self-balancing scooters in 2016:
"Starting Jan. 1, 2016, the George Washington University will prohibit self-balancing scooters, more popularly known as hoverboards, because of recent concerns by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the potential impact these devices may have on campus safety.
Hoverboards include self-balancing scooters, battery operated scooters, and hands-free segways. If you own one, please make sure that the device is not brought to campus when returning from winter break. Several safety and consumer agencies are investigating numerous fires and injuries related to these devices.
As a part of the university's efforts to maintain campus safety, and its fire protection and prevention policy, the university has added these devices to the prohibited item list. That list can be found at http://healthandsafety.gwu.edu/prohibited-items-residence-halls. The Fire Prevention Policy can be found online at http://my.gwu.edu/files/policies/FirePreventionPolicy.pdf.
As you return to campus after the holiday season, remember that campus safety is a community responsibility. Please be aware of potential hazards and be mindful of others by not introducing potential hazards to the community."