Hoverboards are becoming quite the hot topic, literally. Hoverboards all over are catching fire and causing a lot of damage to people and properties.
On Jan. 13, Maryville College students, staff and faculty received an email informing them on the ban of all hoverboards.
The ban was decided after much discussion. Jack Piepenbring, director of safety and security, was a part of the conversation to have the boards banned.
When asked about the ban, Piepenbring talked about the importance of keeping students safe and how hoverboards pose an extra danger on the campus.
“We do not want to take any undue risks,” said Piepenbring.
The ban on hoverboards means no one can ride one or store one on campus. This is to ensure the risks Piepenbring mentioned do not become a reality.
Hoverboards are known for causing people injuries, some significant enough to end with a hospital visit. Videos on social media of people trying to use a hoverboard but crashing became very popular. These videos showed just how easy it is to fall using one.
The fires that have been occurring is due to an issue with the hoverboard’s lithium-ion battery. These types of batteries are often used in smartphones and laptops. The batteries in the hoverboards are much more powerful, leading to the problem.
Fires have been starting while people are charging their hoverboards. Piepenbring brought up the point that most people do not stand by their electronic device while they charge, so if a fire were to occur, it might be too late by the time someone notices.
Insurance purposes were another factor that contributed to the decision to ban these devices. Insurance companies have been advising campuses to not allow the hoverboards until they are deemed safe.
MC is monitoring new information as it appears, which is why, Piepenbring stressed, the ban on the hoveboards is only temporary. If it comes to light that they are safe, certain MC staff will discuss lifting the current ban.
For the safety of those living in campus buildings, Piepenbring encourages students to notify Residence Life or an RA if they know of a resident with a hoverboard in the hall.