STONEHAM — Fire Chief Matthew Grafton and Police Chief James McIntyre would like to remind residents as the Fourth of July approaches 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.
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.
“With the Fourth of July quickly approaching, we thought it was important to issue this reminder,” Police Chief McIntyre said. “Using fireworks in the state of Massachusetts is illegal, and it’s also dangerous. We will be confiscating any fireworks we come across, and we’re encouraging everyone to attend the professionally run firework shows in the area instead of purchasing your own.”
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.
“Even sparklers, which can seem innocuous, can cause serious, painful burns,” Fire Chief Grafton said. “Fireworks also cause thousands of fires each year. The Fourth of July is a wonderful holiday to celebrate with family and friends, but it’s imperative that everyone stays safe.”
According to the National Fire Protection Association, fireworks are also the cause of 18,500 fires on average each year.
This does not mean residents cannot enjoy fireworks displays over the course of the summer. However, Chief Grafton and Chief McIntyre 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 Stoneham Fire Department at 781-438-5296 or the Stoneham Police Department at 781-438-1215.