TAUNTON — As the Fourth of July and summer celebrations approach, Chief Edward J. Walsh and the Taunton Police Department would like to remind residents that the use of fireworks is illegal in Massachusetts.
It is illegal to use, possess or sell fireworks of any kind in Massachusetts, including Class C fireworks, which are sometimes falsely called “safe and sane fireworks.” Class C fireworks include sparklers, party poppers, snappers, firecrackers, spinners, cherry bombs and more. Additionally, residents are prohibited from purchasing fireworks elsewhere and transporting them into the state.
From 2010-2019, 858 major fires and explosions were reported to the Massachusetts Fire Incident Reporting System (MFIRS) due to the use of illegal fireworks. These incidents caused 12 civilian injuries, 40 firefighter injuries and a loss of approximately $2.9 million.
The Taunton Police Department recommends that residents only attend displays put on by a licensed professional to ensure safety.
“Given all that has happened with the COVID-19 pandemic we realize that residents want to gather together and celebrate more than ever this Fourth of July,” Chief Walsh said. “But we encourage them to do so in a safe manner, and that includes refraining from the use of illegal fireworks. Not only are they not permitted by law, they also pose a serious injury risk if used improperly.”
Residents should always:
- Call 911 if anyone gets injured by fireworks.
- Set a positive example for children by not using illegal fireworks. If kids see adults using them, they may not realize the dangers and could be encouraged to pick up matches or lighters.
- Be careful around even the smallest fireworks. Sparklers burn at 1,800 degrees and could easily cause severe burns and injuries.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the misuse of fireworks can cause death and injuries including severe burns, contusions, lacerations, eye injuries and more.