ROWLEY — As the Fourth of July and summer celebrations approach, Fire Chief James Broderick and Police Chief Scott Dumas 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.
The Rowley Police Department will be adding special patrols over the coming weeks to respond to late night illegal fireworks activity in the town. Residents can make fireworks complaints at 978-948-7644.
From 2010-2019, 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 Rowley Police Department recommends that residents only attend displays put on by a licensed professional to ensure safety.
“Fireworks pose a significant safety hazard and our officers will be enforcing the law on firework use,” said Chief Dumas.
Residents should always:
- 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.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the misuse of fireworks can cause death and injuries including severe burns, contusions, lacerations, eye injuries and more.
Residents should also be aware that a recent lack of rain has caused extremely dry conditions for grass and brush. Errant fireworks are a fire hazard to both homes and forests.
“If misused, fireworks can cause severe injury, or even death,” said Chief Broderick. “We want all residents to remain safe and enjoy their holiday, which means avoiding firework use and enjoying shows put on by professionals.”