FMCSA issues safety advisory for e-cigarettes in or around CMVs

Risks include explosions, fires

Posted August 5, 2016

On August 3, 2016, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued a safety advisory to owners and operators of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) regarding incidents relating to the use of battery-powered portable electronic smoking devices (e-cigarettes) that include 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. 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, the FMCSA said that motor carriers and drivers should be aware of the risks associated with these devices, and use good judgment in the possession, storage, charging and use or the devices while being near or operating a CMV. The FMCSA also noted to 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.


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