Campus News

UK Issues Temporary Ban on Hoverboards Due to Safety Risks

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 6, 2016) — Based upon University of Kentucky safety standards and recent instances of batteries from electronic skateboards and self-balancing devices bursting into flames, all hoverboards and similar devices are temporarily banned on campus, effective immediately.

All students, faculty and staff must leave these devices at an off-campus location.

This ban prohibits the use, possession, or storage at residence halls, university apartments, Greek houses, academic buildings, all other campus buildings, campus grounds, and other off-campus properties controlled by the university effective immediately.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a strong warning and also highlighted the fact that an investigation into burning hoverboards is ongoing.  Major U.S. airlines have also banned hoverboards on flights due to safety concerns. On Dec. 14, 2015, stopped selling hoverboards due to emerging safety concerns. Several SEC schools  including Arkansas, LSU, and Vanderbilt  have banned the devices.  Numerous other campuses and organizations have also banned these devices.

"We are temporarily banning hoverboards and similar devices due to the fact that these devices have caused numerous fires throughout the nation and the potential fire risk that they pose to people and property.  We are not willing to risk your safety and our community’s safety,” said UK Fire Marshal Greg Williamson.

Batteries within these devices have been reported to burst into flames — especially while being charged — resulting in a metal fire that can burn with intense heat. To date, a number of shipping companies, airlines, and colleges and universities have temporarily banned these devices.  

The ban will remain in effect until more information and better safety standards for all models of the equipment are in place to protect UK students, faculty, staff, patients and visitors from the potential threat of fire.   

As students, faculty and staff return to campus after the holiday season, they are encouraged to remember that campus safety is a community responsibility. Everyone is asked be aware of the fire risks — and be mindful of life safety of others  by not introducing potential hazards to our community.

For students who already have hoverboards on campus and cannot get them home safely, UK has made arrangements to provide temporary storage. If you live on campus and have such a device and need assistance with temporary storage, please contact the UK Fire Marshal's office at ‪(859) 257-6326 or speak with your residence hall staff. 

MEDIA CONTACT: Blair Hoover, (859) 257-6398;