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Colleges ban hoverboards over safety concerns

Indiana University Bloomington campus joined other universities in banning hoverboards from residence halls. Students may not put them in their rooms, use them in hallways or charge them in the hal...

One of the most popular, Christmas dream gifts is creating a nightmare for colleges and universities. They are telling students to leave their hoverboards at home or, at the very least, banning them from residence halls and dorm rooms.

Indiana University, Purdue University and others are worried about hoverboards causing fires or students fooling around and getting hurt.

On IU's Bloomington campus, Rob Sherrell and his hoverboard can go anywhere but the university residence halls. He understands IU's decision to ban them from dorm rooms and other areas.

"There is not really a way you can determine which hoverboard is going to be safe to use or plug up at night or you can't determine that until it is too late," Sherrell said.

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From across the country, there are increasing numbers of reports and videos of hoverboards catching fire. Some airlines now prohibit passengers from bringing them on board. A hoverboard in flames in a building with hundreds of sleeping students could be tragic.

IU spokesperson Mark Land said it is better to be safe than sorry. 

"Given the close proximity we have, a lot of people living with one another in residence halls is at the top of our list of concerns right now," he explained.

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The ban does not affect fraternities, sororities or off-campus homes and apartments. For now, IU will allow students to carry their hoverboards into classrooms and other university buildings.

"If we get an indication that the risk of fire is even greater, we may have to take steps down the road. This is where we decided to start," Land said.

Along with the fun factor, the battery-operated motorized boards provide quick and easy transportation. Sherrell lives off-campus.

"It's pretty convenient," he said. "If you miss the bus or the bus takes too long, I've gotten places quicker than using transportation methods here."

While IU and Purdue have banned hoverboards only from residence halls. Some colleges are going even further.

Butler University and the University of Evansville have banned them altogether from their campuses.

Land expects students at IU will be disappointed.

"If we have to make people a little upset in the name of keeping them safe, this seems like a pretty realistic step we are willing to do that," he said.

The university policies are brand new. Emails and tweets are just now going out to students.

If you have a child carrying a hoverboard back to college, it's a good idea to call ahead to see if it is allowed on campus.

Click to watch hoverboard fails