VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota on Thursday prohibited self-balancing scooters from all residence halls in response to federal safety concerns about fire danger. Students already were banned from riding the so-called hoverboards in residence halls out of noise and safety concerns.
John Howe, associate dean of student services, said an email went out Thursday to students who live in residence halls after consultation by university officials responsible for buildings and safety. More than 30 universities nationwide have banned hoverboards because the batteries can overheat and start fires, Howe said. He estimates that only a handful of hoverboards are present on campus, and USD has had no reported incidents of overheating or fires.
“It’s not a risk that we’re wanting to take,” Howe said.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in December said it is investigating the fire risk.
Here is the text of the email that went to residence hall students:
Out of precaution for your safety and the wellbeing of all residential students, self-balancing scooters (also commonly known as hoverboards) will not be permitted in any residential facilities at the University of South Dakota.
While use of self-balancing scooters within the halls is already considered a “prohibited activity” within University Housing’s Community Living Policies, recent warnings by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission regarding this product’s safety leads University Housing to prohibit possession within our residential halls. Self-balancing scooters must be removed from all residential facilities and placed within personal vehicles effective immediately. If you do not have a vehicle, please notify University Housing staff to arrange for proper, temporary storage. Violations of this policy will result in disciplinary action.
For a complete listing of all USD Community Living Policies, please visit http://www.usd.edu/~/media/files/student-life/university-housing/communitylivingpolicies.ashx?la=en.
Thank you for your cooperation in creating a safe living, learning environment for all residents.