WEST NEWBURY — As the Fourth of July and summer celebrations approach, Fire Chief Michael Dwyer and Police Chief Jeff Durand 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 2010-19, 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.
“While residents can certainly enjoy an organized fireworks display this summer, they should never attempt to put one on themselves due to the tremendous risk of injury,” said Chief Dwyer. “We urge everyone to celebrate safely and to practice social distancing should you attend any organized displays in the coming months in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The West Newbury Fire and Police Departments recommend that residents only attend displays put on by a licensed professional to ensure safety.
“With summer finally here, it’s understandable that people are looking forward to celebrating the season and attend events like professional fireworks displays,” said Chief Durand. “However, fireworks that are not handled by professionals pose a very serious risk of fire and personal injury. Please keep yourself and your community safe by not engaging in the use of illegal fireworks.”
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.