EAST BRIDGEWATER — As the Fourth of July and summer celebrations approach, Police Chief Paul O’Brien and Fire Chief Timothy Harhen would like to remind residents that the use of fireworks is illegal in 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. Additionally, residents are prohibited from purchasing fireworks elsewhere and transporting them into the state.
“Over the past few weeks we’ve received a drastic increase in fireworks complaints from residents,” Chief O’Brien said. “The police department will have zero tolerance in regards to fireworks and will take every complaint seriously. Fireworks create a lot of trauma for our residents, especially those who are elderly, veterans, parents with newborns, pet owners and their pets. We ask that our community members remain courteous and not partake in the use of illegal fireworks.”
Residents can make anonymous fireworks complaints to the East Bridgewater Police Department at 508-378-7223. If known, residents should specify the originating direction or location of the fireworks. In the case of an active fire or emergency, residents should call 911.
From 2010-19, 858 major fires and explosions were reported to the Massachusetts Fire Incident Reporting System (MFIRS) due to the use of illegal fireworks. These incidents caused 12 civilian injuries, 40 firefighter injuries and a loss of approximately $2.9 million.
The East Bridgewater Police and Fire Departments recommend that residents only attend displays put on by a licensed professional to ensure safety.
“Residents should be mindful of their neighbors and their concerns regarding the use of illegal fireworks by non-professionals,” Chief Harhen said. “Residents are concerned about injuries or their property going up in flames, especially since it’s been so dry recently. We’d like to remind everyone that you never know where fireworks are going to land or what can result from lighting off fireworks.”
Residents should always:
- 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.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the misuse of fireworks can cause death and injuries including severe burns, contusions, lacerations, eye injuries and more.