Earlier this month, Mercer added itself to the list of Georgia universities that have banned hoverboards on campus due to fire safety concerns.
Christian Wells, one of Mercer’s Housing and Residence Life assistant directors, warned students in an email over winter break that the two-wheeled self-balancing devices were prohibited on campus because of a “lack of safety standards that have not been developed and implemented by manufacturers.”
Wells said the university was worried that device’s lithium-ion battery could easily catch on fire while charging. Although the university is up to speed on fire codes, allowing the devices on campus is not worth the risk, she said.
“We definitely want to make sure students are safe,” Wells said. “Safety is really important to us, and we don’t want anything to happen.”
Yet some Mercer students aren’t happy about wheeling their hoverboards off campus.
Junior Tricia Surber said she’s not a fan of the campus-wide ban. The devices catch on fire in isolated situations, and the university’s decision is being based off of those situations, she said.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently reported that Amazon will offer a full refund on any hoverboards sold on its website.
The CPSC said that hoverboards pose a risk because of batteries overheating, and there have been numerous reports of falls suffered while riding the devices. Currently, the CPSC is examining the injury reports to see if there’s a flaw with the product.