GLOUCESTER –Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken, Police Chief Edward Conley and Fire Chief Eric Smith wish to remind residents as the Fourth of July holiday approaches that all use of fireworks in the state of Massachusetts is prohibited.
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.
“Fireworks are illegal in the state of Massachusetts for a host of reasons, and the Gloucester Police Department will enforce that law and confiscate any fireworks we come across,” Police Chief Conley said. “They can cause serious injuries, and are incredibly dangerous in the hands of a non-professional.”
In addition to injuries, the sound created by fireworks exploding can cause stress, which can be experienced by people who may be sensitive to loud noises, such as the elderly and veterans who may suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Pets may also be susceptible to such noises.
“When fireworks are handled by people who haven’t been properly trained to use them, they cause hundreds of injuries and thousands of fires every year,” Fire Chief Smith said. “We’re encouraging residents and visitors to Gloucester this Fourth of July holiday: stay safe, don’t use fireworks and enjoy the free professional firework shows in the area.”
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.
This does not mean citizens cannot enjoy fireworks displays over the course of the summer. Mayor Theken, Police Chief Conley and Fire Chief Smith 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 Fahrenheit and could easily cause severe burns and injuries
Anyone who has questions about fireworks or fireworks safety should contact the Gloucester Fire Department at 978-325-5300.