So-called “hoverboards”—self-balancing, hands-free scooters—have become very popular in recent years.
Unfortunately, some hoverboards are prone to overheating, creating safety risks for users.
The danger posed by defective hoverboards is not just media hype. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports at least 99 incidents of batteries in hoverboards “sparking, smoking, catching fire and/or exploding including reports of burn injuries and property damage.”
Fire Safety Policy for Hoverboards
As a result of these concerns, Princeton University has adopted a campus-wide fire safety policy for hoverboards. The policy requires that all hoverboards possessed, used, charged or stored on campus must bear the seal of an independent testing laboratory accredited by the CPSC.
Before you buy a hoverboard or bring one to campus, check for the seal of a CPSC-accredited independent testing laboratory such as UL (formerly Underwriters Laboratories, Inc.). UL recently announced an electrical system certification for hoverboards and began certifying select brands and models in May 2016.
A list of CPSC accepted testing laboratories is available here.
Industrywide performance and safety standards for hoverboards are currently in development. Be sure to check the Princeton Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) website for any modifications to this policy as more safety information becomes available.
In July 2016, the CPSC announced recalls by 10 firms selling hoverboards. Read More »
Anyone owning one of these hoverboards should stop using it immediately and contact the manufacturer or retailer for a refund, repair or replacement.