WEST NEWBURY — As the Fourth of July approaches, Police Chief Jeff Durand and Fire Chief Michael Dwyer would like to remind residents that the use of fireworks is illegal in the state of 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. Residents are also prohibited from purchasing fireworks elsewhere and transporting them into the state.
“We want residents to stay safe while they enjoy the Fourth of July festivities this year,” Fire Chief Dwyer said. “Fireworks pose a serious safety risk, and are responsible for hundreds of injuries and significant property damage every year.”
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, during the month surrounding the Fourth of July, approximately 280 people nationwide go to the emergency room seeking treatment for injuries caused by fireworks every day.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, fireworks are also the cause of 18,500 fires on average each year.
“Fireworks are a Fourth of July tradition, but instead of purchasing your own fireworks, please attend a free show in the area that has been planned and will be run by a professional,” Chief Durand said. “Fireworks are illegal and unsafe.”
This does not mean residents cannot enjoy fireworks displays over the course of the summer. However, Police Chief Durand and Fire Chief Dwyer recommend that residents only attend celebrations put on by a licensed professional to ensure safety.
Residents should also remember to:
- Watch fireworks displays from a safe distance.
- 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.
Anyone who has questions about fireworks or fireworks safety should contact the West Newbury Fire Department at 978-363-1111.