State Fire Officials Advising Public Of The Danger Posed By Illegal Fireworks

HYANNIS – As summer festivities begin, state fire officials are advising citizens of the dangers of illegal fireworks and reminding them that it is illegal to possess, use, or sell fireworks in Massachusetts.

From 2012 to 2021, state fire departments reported over 900 fires related to illegal fireworks, with 43 fire service injuries and $2.1 million in damages as a result of such fires. Additionally, medical facilities across the state reported 31 severe burn injuries caused by illegal fireworks.

“People are injured and property is lost to illegal fireworks every single year in Massachusetts,” said State Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey.

“As we enter the period when most of these incidents occur, we’re reminding everyone that fireworks are illegal because they are dangerous. Many cities and towns will have professional fireworks displays this year, so play it safe and leave fireworks to the professionals.”

Officials placed an emphasis on the danger fireworks pose to children. That includes sparklers, which burn at temperatures over 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit.

A 2021 report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission found there was an estimated 1,600 emergency room visits due to firecrackers and 900 due to sparklers in 2020, with 44% of those associated with sparklers involving children under the age of five.

State police increased enforcement and confiscation efforts in 2021 following a surge in fires caused by fireworks in the summer of 2020, during which 120 incidents were reported to the state’s Fire Incident Reporting System. As a result, police seized over 47,000 illegal fireworks during last year’s enforcement operations.

Fire officials said enforcement would resume this summer.

For a list of permitted municipal fireworks displays, click here.

By, Matthew Tomlinson, NewsCenter

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