Hoverboard FAQ's

Updated February 23, 2016

Hoverboard FAQ’s


What is MIT’s stance on hoverboard use on campus?

MIT strongly discourages the MIT community from using or possessing hoverboards while on the MIT campus, specifically from charging or storing hoverboards in any residence hall or Institute building. The reason for this stance is due to the high risk of fires and other hazards that these devices pose to personal and community safety.


What causes hoverboard fires?

The fires generally start in the battery pack.  Damage to the battery pack through impact or overcharging could cause a short circuit. This raises the temperature to the flash point of the lithium, which results in an intense, flaring fire. 


How do I dispose of hoverboard lithium-ion batteries?

You may recycle undamaged lithium-ion batteries by making a recycling service request on Atlas. The terminals must be taped to prevent reaction from other metals, the battery pack should be labeled and isolated in a container. If the battery has been damaged, you must complete an EHS Chemical Waste Collection Form located here: http://ehs.mit.edu/site/content/chemical-waste-collection-form


What if I have one…what are acceptable locations to use?

Unacceptable locations/conditions:

  • Indoors in MIT residences and other Institute buildings.
  • Poor weather conditions such as rain or snow.

Acceptable locations/conditions:

  • Outdoor areas with flat surfaces and low pedestrian and vehicular traffic.
  • Special events with approved safety plans and notification. 
    • Register event, reserve space, develop safety plan for EHS review and approval.
  • Being used as an accommodation for an individual with a mobility disability and does not pose legitimate safety concerns.


How do I prevent hoverboard fires?

  • Only buy from “trusted” manufacturers. Look for products with UL (Underwriters Laboratory) certification.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines. 
  • Prevent damage from drops, impacts, etc. Inspect for damages before charging and using.
  • Practice safe charging. Do not overcharge the device. Do not charge the device overnight. Always be present during charging. Monitor for unusual activities (noises, burning smells, bulging, smoke, excessive heat, leaking fluids). 
  • Always use the charging cord that was originally supplied with the hoverboard.


What do I do if my hoverboard ignites and catches on fire?

  • Evacuate the area. Notify others around you to stay clear. If indoors, activate fire alarm pull station as you exit. Call MIT Police.


What if I decide to ship it home? How do I properly do it?

  • Take your hoverboard to your local FedEx or UPS and ship it by ground. Be sure to check any specific requirements FedEx or UPS may have for shipping hoverboards. Also, communicate the contents of your parcel with the shipping company. Due to the recent history with hoverboards, do not ship them by air.