E-cigarettes create hazards around trucks: U.S. regulators

by Today's Trucking Staff

e-cigarette schematic drawingWASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has issued a safety advisory for those who use battery-powered e-cigarettes or vaporizers around commercial vehicles, citing potential hazards including explosions, serious personal injuries and fires.

The warning extends to any battery-powered portable electronic smoking devices.

“The explosions regularly involved the ejection of a burning battery case or other components from the device, which subsequently ignited nearby flammable or combustible materials,” regulators said in a bulletin released this morning. The U.S. Fire Administration estimates there have been 25 related incidents between 2009 and August 2014. Some new sources suggest there could have been more than 1,500 explosions.

The risks are not specifically referenced in Federal Hazardous Materials Regulations or Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. But carriers and drivers should be aware of the risks around using, storing or charging the devices, regulators say.

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration recently prohibited aircraft crew members and passengers from carrying battery-powered portable electronic smoking devices in checked baggage, and from charging the devices and their batteries on board an aircraft.

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