Do Food Trucks Pose a Terrorist Threat?

New York City Fire Department calls food trucks 'transient hazards'

Don't freak out everyone, but the FDNY has some serious concerns about your falafel trucks. In a official presentation dated Sept. 14, the FDNY deems food trucks a "transient hazard," noting that 3,100 permits were issued by New York City in 2012, and that black markets do exist for permits.

In fact, there are so many food trucks that the FDNY notes some terrorism implications, since food trucks are located in high-profile spots around the city, where there is a lot of pedestrian foot traffic, and often in the midst of high-rise office buildings. It was noted that food trucks tend to carry large amounts of propane and gasoline, and are incredibly close to crowds and sidewalks, so large quantities of explosive materials could be hidden in the trucks and used to damage the city.

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Terrorism possibilities aside, food truck hazards also include explosions just from multiple propane cylinders, shock from high-voltage electricity, and fires from gasoline containers. The FDNY notes that gourmet food truck numbers are expected to increase (over traditional street food trucks or carts, which they call "roach coaches"), and while they aren't recommending that the city give out less permits, they do recommend any food truck accidents to require a "precautionary hose line" and hazmat. Read the whole pdf over on Public Intelligence.