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US college campuses ban 'hoverboards' over fire risks

Got a "hoverboard" for Christmas? We'll bet some of you wish you just left yours back home.

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If you're planning to get around campus on your new hoverboard, you may want to check your school's policy first. According to AP, at least 20 universities in the US have restricted or banned the two-wheeled scooters due to the fire hazard posed by their lithium-ion batteries. In case you haven't been keeping up with the news, a simple Google search can show you recent reports of homes destroyed by fire allegedly caused by hoverboards that spontaneously blew up. "These things are just catching fire without warning, and we don't want that in any of our dorms," Kean University's Len Dolan said.

While some universities have banned them completely, there are those that don't mind students using them, so long as they're kept out of classrooms and dorm rooms. Other institutions, such as Ohio State and Xavier University, are totally cool with brands and models that have seals showing that they meet safety standards. Those are presumably powered by lithium-ion batteries that aren't prone to exploding like those used by knockoffs or poorly made brands.

Last year, a number of airlines stopped allowing the scooters on their planes due to the same reason. Around the same time, Amazon agreed to refund customers with safety concerns and advised them to throw the machine out if they think it's unsafe. US officials began investigating the devices in December, while across the pond in the UK, 15,000 hoverboards were seized before they could make their way to stores for the holiday season.

[Image credit: Franklin Heijnen/Flickr]

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