MERRIMAC — As the Fourth of July and summer celebrations approach, Chief Larry Fisher and Chief Eric Shears 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.
“We would like to remind our residents that fireworks complaints may be made to the Merrimac Police Department,” Chief Shears said. “Illegal fireworks displays can cause nuisances in our neighborhoods and disrupt the lives of those living with pets, young children, PTSD and others who are going about their daily lives. We ask that everyone remains mindful of each other while celebrating summer events.”
Residents can make anonymous fireworks complaints to the Merrimac Police Department at 978-346-8321. If known, residents should specify the originating direction or location of the fireworks. In the case of an active fire or emergency, residents should call 911.
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.
“Fireworks, if not used properly, can result in personal injury or property damage,” Chief Fisher said. “During this time of year, we ask that our residents exercise caution and refrain from using fireworks if they are not licensed. Even the smallest of fireworks, which are also illegal in Massachusetts, pose a risk of bodily harm.”
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.