UNC Charlotte is currently monitoring the national news reports pertaining to self-balancing scooters, commonly known as "hoverboards" and the public safety hazard they may represent with regard to fire safety issues. It is being reported that the National Association of State Fire Marshals has received reports and is investigating several injuries and fires involving these hoverboards.
In light of the information that is so prevalent from a variety of authorities nationally, UNC Charlotte is asking students that have a hoverboard, or may receive one as a gift over the holidays, to check their device and charging equipment to make sure it is compliant with Underwriters Laboratory or UL approved standards and certification. Packaging, devices and the charging equipment should be marked to indicate compliance. Devices not bearing a UL mark indicating compliance likely have not been tested to meet minimum safety standards and may pose a fire hazard.
We are therefore asking students to remove those devices from campus facilities and not to store or use them inside residential facilities.
The following “tips” for safe use, care and maintenance are recommended:
- After it has been used, give it time to cool off prior to charging.
- Do not leave the hoverboard unattended while it is charging. Someone should be able to observe the device during its recharging period.
- Do not overcharge the hoverboard. Follow manufacturer’s recommended charging times and do not leave it plugged in an outlet overnight.
- Do not use electrical chargers other than those provided and compliant because they may be unsafe.
- Keep charging to one plug per socket.
When operating a hoverboard:
- Wear appropriate safety equipment (similar to when riding a bicycle).
- Do not text or operate a cell phone while using a hoverboard.
- Operate the hoverboard in accordance with its intended use.
- If you notice the hoverboard is becoming hot, stop using it and check with the manufacturer or retailer. This could suggest a faulty battery that needs replacement.
We want to pass on this important information and ask that you choose wisely if you elect to make such a purchase. While not specifically addressed in residential guidelines or the Student Code of Conduct, these devices raise concern for the safety of our community. As additional information is obtained the practices and policies of the university will be updated.