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Emerson advises students to leave the hoverboards at home

Emerson students were told that due to recent revelations that hoverboards are “prone to explosion,” and present a number of safety risks, they are now banned from the school.Stephen Brashear/Associated Press/File

Emerson College students who received hoverboards for holiday gifts won’t be allowed to bring the rolling electronic devices back to campus for the spring semester.

In an e-mail to students, Erik Muurisepp, associate dean and director of housing and residence life, said the electronic devices are being banned from campus because they present a number of safety risks and are “prone to explosion.”

“The college has decided to prohibit the use and possession of such hoverboards, self-propelled scooters, and similar devices throughout the campus,” Muurisepp said in the e-mail, a copy of which was obtained by the Globe.

The e-mail was sent to students this week.


Emerson officials could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

Hoverboards, which don’t actually float above ground, are skateboard-like devices that glide forward and backward, based on a person’s movements.

But the popular, hands-free gadgets have also been known to catch fire, prompting the US Consumer Product Safety Commission in December to launch an investigation into their safety.

The commission also recommended a set of safety guidelines, to help reduce the risk of a fire-related incident.

“Some of these injuries have been serious, including concussions, fractures, contusions/abrasions, and internal organ injuries,” the commission stated on its website.

The commission has also received reports about injuries tied to the use of the so-called smart boards since August.

The devices have been banned from airlines, as well as for use in New York City.

At Emerson, Muurisepp said the college is also concerned about the risk of fire, and of students crashing, falling, and “speeding in our crowded hallways and elevators.”

“Our priority is the safety of the members of our community, and until a time that the safety standards of these devices are improved, the college has prohibited these devices from being in all campus buildings,” he said.


Students who ignore the ban will have their hoverboards confiscated by college staff or campus police, Muurisepp said.

Steve Annear can be reached at steve.annear@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @steveannear.