The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is issuing a safety advisory to owners and operators of commercial motor vehicles concerning battery-powered electronic smoking devices, otherwise known as e-cigarettes.
The agency claims fire-related incidents have occurred as the result of possession and use of e-cigarettes, e-cigars, e-pipes, e-hookahs, personal vaporizers, electronic nicotine delivery systems, adding the devices can pose a safety risk.
In particular, the use of such electronic smoking devices has resulted in explosions, serious personal injuries and fires. 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.
The Federal Hazardous Materials Regulations and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations do not specifically address the potential safety risks posed by battery-powered portable electronic smoking devices. However, motor carriers and drivers should be cognizant of the risks associated with these devices and exercise good judgment and appropriate discretion in their possession, storage, and charging or use on, around, or while operating a commercial vehicle. They should also adhere to the smoking prohibitions on, near, or when loading and unloading a motor vehicle transporting hazardous materials in accordance with 49 CFR 177.834(c) and 397.13. For more information, contact Troy Green at (202) 366-9999.