|Title:||Restriction on Lithium-ion Battery Powered Motorized Personal Transportation Vehicles within University Owned and/or Managed Buildings|
|Policy Owner:||University Safety|
|Applies to:||Students, Workforce Members, and Visitors|
|Campus Applicability:||All Campuses|
|Approval Date:||August 30, 2023|
|Effective Date:||August 31, 2023|
|For More Information, Contact:||University Safety, University of Connecticut Fire Department
Deputy Fire Chief & Executive Officer
The proliferation and utility of lithium-ion battery powered motorized personal transportation vehicles (MPTVs) (e.g., mopeds, scooters, e-bikes, etc.) throughout the University of Connecticut (UConn) has led to a significant community safety concern as these devices are charged, stored, and utilized within University owned and occupied buildings.
Lithium-ion and lithium metal batteries, when incorrectly charged or stored, can create thermal runaway in which the lithium-ion cell enters an uncontrollable, self-heating state, resulting in the ejection of gas, shrapnel and/or particulates, extremely high temperatures, smoke, and fire. This can result in high intensity flame and noxious gases that pose a serious risk to life safety, and can cause catastrophic property damage.
To reduce the risk of safety hazards, property damage and potential disruption to business continuity by enacting a University-wide restriction on the charging, storage, and use of lithium-ion battery-powered motorized personal transportation vehicles (MPTVs) within all University-owned and/or managed buildings and the University’s electrical infrastructure. The storage, charging, and maintenance of Motorized Personal Transportation Vehicles within University owned or managed buildings, or through use of the University’s electrical infrastructure, is strictly prohibited.
All University students, staff, faculty, and visitors, and University-owned and/or managed buildings across all campuses.
Associated Electrical Infrastructure: the equipment and services necessary to take electrical energy generated and transmitted for end-use. Charging MPTVs within University owned and/or managed buildings and their associated electrical infrastructure transfers the risk of life safety hazards and property damage to areas that may directly impact business continuity (e.g. academic and operational buildings). A building’s interior and exterior electrical infrastructure may not be rated to handle such electrical demands.
Motorized Personal Transportation Vehicle (MPTV): a vehicle or device used for human transport that does not require a license to operate and utilizes a fuel or battery driven motor for propulsion (e.g., electric bicycle, electric skateboard, hoverboard, self-balancing electric scooter, gasoline powered scooter, moped, etc.).
Lithium-Ion (Li-ion) Battery: a type of rechargeable battery composed of cells in which lithium ions move from the negative electrode through an electrolyte to the positive electrode during discharge and back when charging. These cells use an intercalated lithium compound as the material at the positive electrode, and typically graphite at the negative electrode.
The storage, charging, and maintenance of MPTVs within University-owned and/or managed buildings, or through use of the University’s electrical infrastructure is strictly prohibited. Exceptions to this Policy are MPTVs that are used for medical purposes (e.g., lithium-ion battery powered wheelchairs) and items used in approved and supervised research activities.
Violations of this policy may result in appropriate disciplinary measures in accordance with University By-Laws, General Rules of Conduct for All University Employees, applicable collective bargaining agreements, and the University of Connecticut Student Code.
University Building owners and stewards (e.g., Residential Life, School of Engineering, Student Union, Athletics, etc.), and their designees, will support compliance and enforcement of this policy by notifying occupants and visitors through messaging (e.g., signage, internal email communication, etc.). University Building owners will direct removal of MPTVs from within buildings when device owners are unresponsive to compliance.
Any lithium-ion batteries, or powered devices that display signs of pending Thermal Runaway (e.g., bulging, off-gassing, high temperature production, etc.) are an immediate danger to life and health, and shall result in a notification to University Safety/public safety authorities via 9-1-1.
Residential Life, University of Connecticut (2022). 2022-2023 Housing Contract. https://reslife.uconn.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/3384/2023/03/UConn-Reslife_Housing_Contract-2022-2023-.pdf
Policy created: August 30, 2023 (Approved by the Senior Policy Council and the President)