According to the Iowa Motor Truck Association, the Department of Transportation has issued a safety advisory to truck drivers who use battery-powered electronic smoking devices, such as e-cigarettes or “vaping”.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) states that there have been several occasions where explosions, fires or other injuries have occurred during the use of e-cigarettes. “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,” according to FMCSA in its safety advisory.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there were approximately 25 incidents between 2009 and 2014, but some sources put the number at over 150 during the same time. According to FMCSA, some incidents occurred while the e-cigarettes were charging, and other times while during use or in storage.
FMCSA has asked drivers and carriers to “be cognizant of the risks associated with these devices and exercise good judgment and appropriate discretion in their possession, storage, charging or use on, around or while operating” their vehicle and to apply the same smoking prohibitions to e-cigarettes as they would to regular tobacco products when around hazardous materials.
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