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Public Safety

UH community should take precautions with hoverboards

By Cindy Granier

The University of Houston Environmental Health and Life Safety department continues to keep abreast of safety concerns that may affect students and staff.

The National Association of State Fire Marshals has received reports of injuries and fires involved with self-balancing scooters, commonly referred to as hoverboards.

Environmental Health and Life Safety would like to take this opportunity to provide the campus community with safety tips for the use, care and maintenance of hoverboards, which can also be found online.

When shopping for one:

  • Take the time to look at and research the product. If it is compliant with federal standards, inspections and certifications, it will have a mark on it or indicate such on its packaging, on the device itself, or on its charging equipment. Devices not bearing a mark indicating compliance likely have not been tested to meet minimum safety standards.
  • When buying online, take the time to verify that the device meets applicable standards. There are many of these products on the market, and many may not meet this country’s inspection and safety requirements. Those that do will indicate such on the packaging, and on the device or its charging equipment.
  • Buy a device with a warranty, or buy it in person at a store. If purchasing online, buy from a reputable source. Also, check with the retailer regarding the safety of the device being purchased.

When charging one:

  • After it has been used, give the device time to cool off prior to charging.
  • Do not leave the device unattended while it is charging. Someone should be able to observe the device during its recharging time.
  • Do not overcharge the device. Follow manufacturer’s recommended charging times and do not leave device plugged into an outlet overnight.
  • Do not use imitation electrical chargers as they may be unsafe.
  • Keep to one plug per socket.

When using one:

  • Wear appropriate safety equipment, similar to when riding a bicycle.
  • Do not text or operate a cell phone while using one.
  • Operate the device in accordance with its intended use.
  • If you notice the device is very hot or overheating, stop using it and check with your manufacturer or retailer. This could suggest a faulty battery that needs replacing.

The National Association of State Fire Marshals will continue to provide additional more information as it becomes available.