SEC-036: Prohibition of Self-Balancing Electric Wheeled Boards (Hoverboards) at the University

Date: 01/15/2016 Status: Final
Policy Type: University
Oversight Executive: Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Applies To: Academic Division, the Medical Center, and the College at Wise.
Table of Contents:

Policy Statement

Reason for Policy:

The University, the Medical Center, and the College at Wise endeavor to provide a safe and secure environment for members of its community through the regulation of the possession, use, charging and storage of self-balancing electrical wheeled boards (hoverboards).

Definition of Terms in Statement:
  • Self–Balancing Electric Wheeled Board (Hoverboard):

    A type of portable, rechargeable personal mobility device that uses gyroscopic technology to allow an operator to balance on a small-wheeled platform. These devices are commonly referred to as “Hoverboards,” but may also be referred to as Swagways, IO Hawks, and Skywalkers.

  • University Facility:

    Any defined space of the University, including a room, lab, series of labs, building, or controlled outdoor area.

  • University Grounds:

    The areas where administrative functions, teaching, and research facilities of the University that are used by members of the University community are located as well as athletic and recreational facilities.

  • University Housing:

    Residential living areas managed by the University’s Housing Division.

  • University Property:

    Land or buildings that the University owns or leases and that is under the control of the Board of Visitors. University property also includes premises the University uses for activities of its offices, departments, personnel, or students.

Policy Statement:

Due to continuing reports highlighting the safety risks (injury to self, others and fire risk) of self-balancing electric wheeled boards (Hoverboards), effective immediately, the use, possession, charging and/or storage of these devices is prohibited on the University Grounds, in University facilities, in University housing, on University or Medical Center property, or on the campus of the College at Wise. These devices’ batteries can burst into flame, especially while being charged, resulting in a metal fire that can burn with intense heat.

All University, Medical Center, and College at Wise faculty, staff, employees, and students as well as patients, volunteers and visitors (which include vendors and their employees, parents of students, guests, uninvited guests and all other persons located on property owned, leased, or otherwise controlled by the University, the Medical Center or the College at Wise) are expected to comply with this policy.

It is the responsibility of all members of the University, Medical Center, and College at Wise communities to observe this policy and to ensure compliance with the policy by all visitors.

The University administration may consider lifting this prohibition if it determines that sufficient product standards are in place to ensure the safety of these devices.


Hoverboards and all similar devices are to be removed from University Grounds, facilities, housing, on University or Medical Center property, or on the campus of the College at Wise effective immediately.


Related Information:

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Hoverboard Safety Warning
Statement from U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Chairman Elliot F. Kaye on the Safety of Hoverboards
Statement from the National Association of State Fire Marshals Regarding Hoverboard Safety

Major Category: Safety, Security and Environmental Quality
Next Scheduled Review: 01/15/2019
Approved by, Date: Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, 01/15/2016