For Immediate Release
Friday, May 27, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Groveland Fire and Police Departments Remind Community that Fireworks are Illegal in Massachusetts
GROVELAND — Over Memorial Day weekend, Fire Chief Robert Lay and Deputy Police Chief Jeffrey Gillen remind residents that fireworks are illegal and to leave them to the professionals.
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. Citizens are also prohibited from purchasing fireworks elsewhere and then transporting them into the state.
Additionally, while the government cannot prohibit the advertising and sale of fireworks by mail, police can and will confiscate illegal shipments. Many consumers attempting to circumvent the law have lost both their money and their fireworks.
“If you are caught in possession of fireworks, they will be confiscated,” Deputy Chief Gillen said. “You also run the risk of up to a $100 fine. Please be safe and only attend professional fireworks displays this summer.”
The Office of the State Fire Marshal reports that from 2006-2015, there were 775 major fire and explosion incidents involving illegal fireworks reported to the Massachusetts Fire Incident Reporting System. These incidents caused 11 civilian injuries, four fire service injuries and an estimated dollar loss of $1.8 million.
“The last thing we want to happen is for someone to set off fireworks and then injure themselves or someone else,” Chief Lay said. “Additionally, outdoor brush fires caused by fireworks take away valuable resources. Please be responsible this holiday.”
This doesn’t mean citizens cannot enjoy fireworks displays this holiday weekend and in the future. However, Chief Lay and Deputy Chief Gillen recommend that residents only attend celebrations put on by a licensed professional to ensure safety for all.
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 Fahrenheit and could easily cause severe burns and injuries.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that fireworks can cause death and injury, including burns, loss of limbs or extremities, contusions, lacerations and eye injuries.
Fifty-one percent of fireworks-related burn injuries reported by hospitals to the Office of the State Fire Marshal from 2006-2015 were to children under age 18. More than a quarter of the victims were children under age 10.