September 19, 2020


Enjoy the many supervised professional displays!

All across the state there are many professional fireworks displays supervised by local fire departments. Unfortunately, too many children and adult amateurs continue to set off fireworks that start fires, and cause serious injuries to themselves and others.

Fireworks can be deadly!

A 45-year old Gloucester woman died in a December 22, 2003 house fire when someone threw fireworks and ignited the Christmas tree in the living room. Three other people were injured. On May 20, 1997, a 26-year old man from Watertown was killed while he was lighting fireworks in a hallway. A 27-year old Framingham man was killed July 4, 1993, when his backyard fireworks exploded in his face. On July 4, 1992, fireworks fatally injured a 30-year old man on a Fairhaven beach.

All fireworks are illegal in Massachusetts.

The possession and use of all fireworks by private citizens is illegal in Massachusetts. This includes Class C fireworks which are sometimes falsely called “safe and sane” such as sparklers, party poppers, snappers, firecrackers, spinners and cherry bombs, to name a few. Sparklers burn at 1800ºF.

It is illegal to transport fireworks into Massachusetts, even if they were purchased legally elsewhere. Illegal fireworks can be confiscated on the spot.

Do not purchase fireworks through mail-order or on-line catalogues.

The distribution of mail-order catalogues that clearly state that fireworks are illegal in some jurisdictions cannot be prohibited. State and local police regularly confiscate illegal shipments of fireworks into Massachusetts. Many unhappy consumers have lost both their money and the fireworks trying to circumvent the law.

Set a good example for your children. Children imitate what they see adults do.

If you use fireworks children will imitate you, not realizing how very dangerous they are. Sixty percent of the fireworks-related burn injuries reported by hospitals to the Office of the State Fire Marshal were children under age 18.

MFIRS facts!

In the past decade (2003-2012) there have been 803 major fire and explosion incidents involving illegal fireworks reported to the Massachusetts Fire Incident Reporting System (MFIRS). They caused one civilian death, 18 civilian injuries, three fire service injuries, and an estimated dollar loss of $2.6 million, which is high considering most fireworks fires are outdoor brush fires.

On June 30, 2012, at 9:55 p.m., the Ashby Fire Department was dispatched to a fire in a single-family home. Someone was shooting off fireworks near the home and ignited the roof, causing $14,000 in damages.

On July 3, 2012, the Lawrence Fire Department responded to two fires started by fireworks. One was in an apartment building and the other was a brush fire.

On July 4, 2012, at 12:05 a.m., the Brockton Fire Department was called to a fire in a three-unit apartment building. The fire was started on the roof by a tenant igniting illegal fireworks. Damages were estimated to be $35,000

On July 4, 2012, the Sandwich Fire Department responded to an EMS call for a woman who was struck in the hand and head with an errant firework. The next day, they responded to a single-family home for a fire on a deck. The homeowner had put fireworks in a trash bag on the deck during the night. The bag ignited causing damage to the deck.


M-BIRS facts!

In the past decade (2003-2012), 47 people have been treated at Massachusetts emergency rooms for severe burn injuries from fireworks – burns covering 5% of more of the body. Nearly three-quarters (72%) of the victims were children and youths under 25 and are scarred for life. Nearly 30% of the victims were children under the age of 10.

On July 3, 2012, a 13-year old boy received burns to his eye from fireworks. As he watched the show, burning embers fell into his eye.

On July 3, 2012, a 7-month old girl, a 3-year old boy, a 31-year old woman and a 58-year old man were treated at Massachusetts hospitals after they were involved in a house fire in Pelham, NH that was started by consumer grade fireworks. Eight other people were injured including three more children. A stray firework struck the unused supply of fireworks stored on the home’s back deck resulting in the explosion and ensuing fire.

On July 4, 2012, a 52-year old man received burns to his groin and abdomen in Hanover and suffered trauma to his right hand. The victim was holding a ‘torpedo’ firework between his legs when it exploded.

On July 4, 2012, a 30-year old man was at Lake Lashaway in North Brookfield when a homemade black powder rocket launcher exploded causing injuries to his face, arms and upper torso. The victim, his 54-year old father and adult brother were taken to local hospitals for treatment. The burn victim needed further specialized treatment.

On July 5, 2012, at 2:05 a.m., the Chatham Fire Department was dispatched for an EMS call at the town beach. A 31-year old man was using a mortar to light off