Leonard Campanello, Chief of Police
197 Main St.
Gloucester , MA 01930
Gloucester Fire Department
Eric Smith, Fire Chief
8 School St.
Gloucester, MA 01930
For Immediate Release
Monday, June 20, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
*Joint Press Release* Gloucester Police and Fire Departments Remind Residents that Fireworks Are Illegal in Massachusetts
GLOUCESTER — With the Fourth of July approaching, Police Chief Leonard Campanello and Fire Chief Eric Smith remind residents that it is illegal to use fireworks in the state of Massachusetts and to leave use to licensed professionals.
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.
Residents are also subject to a fine of up to $100 if found in possession of legal fireworks.
“By using fireworks illegally, you are compromising not only your own safety, but also the safety of others,” Chief Smith said. “In addition, fireworks are dangerous to the environment and can risk starting fires or hurting wildlife.”
The Office of the State Fire Marshal reports that from 2006-2015, there were 775 major fire and explosion incidents involving illegal fireworks reported to the Massachusetts Fire Incident Reporting System. These incidents caused 11 civilian injuries, four fire service injuries and an estimated dollar loss of $1.8 million.
On Dec. 22, 2003, a 45-year-old woman died in a Gloucester house fire after someone threw fireworks and ignited the Christmas tree in the living room of the house.
Tragic circumstances, though, don’t dictate that citizens cannot enjoy fireworks displays this holiday weekend and in the future. Chief Campanello and Chief Smith recommend that residents only attend celebrations put on by a licensed professional to ensure safety for all.
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.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that fireworks can cause death and injury, including burns, loss of limbs or extremities, contusions, lacerations and eye injuries.
Fifty-one percent of fireworks-related burn injuries reported by hospitals to the Office of the State Fire Marshal from 2006-2015 were to children under age 18. More than a quarter of the victims were children under age 10.
“Fire officials across the state urge everyone to leave the fireworks to the professionals and enjoy the many public displays supervised by local fire departments,” State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey said. “Be sure to set a good example for your children. They will imitate what you do and there are better places to the spend the holiday than the emergency room.”