Use of Fireworks is Illegal in Massachusetts
CONCORD — Police Chief Joseph O’Connor and Fire Chief Tom Judge would like to share important reminders and safety tips as residents prepare to celebrate Independence Day this weekend.
The Concord Police and Fire Departments encourage residents to be mindful of COVID-19 and practice social distancing while celebrating the holiday. Residents should keep interactions small and avoid larger groups this Fourth of July.
All Fourth of July town-sponsored activities and events are cancelled out of an abundance of caution to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
During Fourth of July celebrations, the Concord Police and Fire Departments remind residents to be aware of these key safety tips:
- Don’t drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Be mindful of pedestrians
- Attend organized and permitted fireworks displays only
- Report illegal fires to the police
- Remember: alcohol/drugs and fireworks do not mix
- Keep pets indoors
The Concord Police and Fire Departments also urge residents to observe the following tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on getting home safely:
- Even if you’ve had only one alcoholic beverage, do not plan on driving
- Designate a sober driver or use public transportation or a ride share service to get home safely
- Take the keys away from individuals who are under the influence and are planning to drive. Alcohol and drugs can impair perception, judgment, motor skills and memory which are critical for safe and responsible driving
- If you see an impaired driver on the road, call 911
“While we want all of our community members to enjoy themselves this Fourth of July weekend, we would also like to remind them of some key safety tips,” Chief O’Connor said. “It is never safe to drive impaired or mix the drinking of alcohol and lighting of illegal fireworks. Residents should be mindful of COVID-19 restrictions as well and avoid large gatherings.”
Fireworks Can Cause Serious Injuries
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.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), sparklers can burn as hot as 2,000 degrees and pose a risk of injury, especially to children.
- The types of fireworks that cause the most injuries are firecrackers, sparklers and bottle rockets.
- The most frequently injured body parts are the hands, head/neck, and eyes.
- Burns are the most common injury. Cuts, bumps and bruises are the most common injuries to the head.
- In addition to blindness, third degree burns and permanent scarring, fireworks also cause life-threatening home and vehicle fires.
The Concord Police and Fire Departments recommend that residents only attend displays put on by a licensed professional to ensure safety.
“There’s no excuse for putting yourself and others in harm’s way by setting fireworks off on your own this holiday weekend,” Chief Judge said. “No one should be creating their own fireworks displays if they aren’t licensed professionals. Residents should leave fireworks shows up to the professionals to prevent possibly bodily injury or property damage.”
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 as they can still easily cause severe burns and injuries.
The Concord Police Department asks that you DO NOT call 911 to report illegal fireworks or noise complaints. Please use the business line at 978-318-3400 for these reports as it is imperative that the 911 lines remain open for real emergencies. Only call 911 if someone is injured by fireworks or there is an active fire.
The Concord Police and Fire Departments wish everyone a safe and happy Independence Day!