Hoverboard safety concerns on college campuses

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ST. LOUIS (KPLR) - Hoverboards are a huge hit, providing endless hours of fun for both kids and adults. But after reports of some boards exploding or bursting into flames began surfacing, many universities banned them from campus.

More than 30 universities have restricted or banned the use of hoverboards on campus after the Consumer Product Safety Commission began an investigation into 48 hoverboard fires in 20 states.

"Safety is one of the biggest priorities on campus and when we saw the report we wanted to make sure we took everything into consideration," said Christian Basi, associate director of the University of Missouri's News Bureau.

The universities of Missouri and Illinois, as well as Saint Louis University, all have bans or temporary bans on hoverboards until the CPSC concludes its investigation. Mizzou freshman Tyler Kentzior didn’t even bring his back from break after hearing about the temporary ban.

“I didn’t use them to go to class, more like to go to the house. A lot of people did ride around on them to class. I didn’t really see a big problem with it,” he said.

Hoverboards could be allowed back on campus by summer, but nothing is certain. Mizzou officials say they will go through and talk with students, faculty, and staff and determine the best way to make sure the device is safe on campus for foreseeable future.

Basi said the University of Missouri hasn’t received any reports of injuries, fires, or problems from a hoverboard on campus.

UL, the company that handles federally-recognized safety testing and certification on consumer products, has said hoverboard manufacturers can now submit their products for evaluation. Products that pass testing will be listed on UL’s online certifications directory and that will help consumers pick a safe hoverboard.

Greg Grishayev, co-founder of Glidecraft Hoverboards, said consumers should ask the company you are purchasing from for certification that the board is safe. He estimates 90 percent of people are buying generic brands.

“You get what you pay for,” he said.