TYNGSBOROUGH — With the Fourth of July fast approaching, Chief Richard D. Howe and the Tyngsborough Police Department wish to share a reminder of several important safety tips as residents prepare to celebrate Independence Day.
According to Massachusetts State Fire Marshal, fires started by fireworks increased by 180% in 2020 and complaints to local police departments increased significantly as well. This year, State and local law enforcement agencies will be ramping up their efforts to stop illegal fireworks use and sales in Massachusetts.
The possession, use and sale of fireworks without a professional license is against the law in Massachusetts, and punishable by confiscation, fine or imprisonment. Fines range from $100 to $1,000, and some violations could carry a one-year prison sentence.
“We wish all of our residents a very happy Fourth of July,” said Chief Howe. “While we hope that they enjoy the holiday, we urge them to do so safely and not use illegal fireworks. The misuse of fireworks can not only cause physical harm, but it can cause legal repercussions too.”
In order to cut down on residents purchasing fireworks in other states and transporting them back to Massachusetts, members of the State Police will conduct targeted patrols along state lines to enforce fireworks laws.
According to the Massachusetts State Fire Marshal, from 2011 to 2020, there were more than 900 reported major fires and explosions involving illegal fireworks. During that time span, 32 people were treated at Massachusetts emergency rooms for severe burns or other injuries from fireworks.
Residents are encouraged to report any misuse of fireworks they notice in their community to the Tyngsborough Police Department call 978-649-7504. In case of a firework-related or other emergency, always dial 911.
Additionally, the Tyngsborough Police Department reminds residents to be aware of these key safety tips during Fourth of July celebrations:
- Do not drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Be mindful of pedestrians
- Attend organized and permitted fireworks displays only
- Remember, alcohol/drugs and fireworks do not mix
- Keep pets indoors
The Tyngsborough Police Department also urges residents to observe the following tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on getting home safely following Fourth of July celebrations:
- 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 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
The Tyngsborough Police Department wishes everyone a happy and safe Fourth of July!