Wakefield Police Remind Residents that Fireworks are Illegal in Massachusetts
WAKEFIELD – With the Fourth of July just a few weeks away, Chief Rick Smith and the Wakefield Police Department remind residents that it is illegal to buy or use fireworks in the state of 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. Massachusetts residents are also prohibited from purchasing fireworks elsewhere and transporting them into the state.
Additionally, while officials 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.
"Fireworks are a Fourth of July tradition for many, but we urge residents to leave firework displays to the professionals," said Chief Smith. "Parents, please set a good example for your kids and other children. If they see you break the law and play with fireworks, they will think it is okay to do so too which can result in severe burns and other injuries."
Wakefield hosts a sanctioned professional fireworks display on Wednesday, July 4, at 9:30 p.m. at Lake Quannapowitt at the corner of North Ave. and Church St.
The Office of the State Fire Marshal reports that from 2007-2016, there were 826 major fire and explosion incidents involving illegal fireworks reported to the Massachusetts Fire Incident Reporting System. These incidents caused 11 civilian injuries, five fire service injuries and an estimated loss of $1.8 million.
In addition to injuries, the sound created by fireworks exploding can cause stress, which can be experienced by people who may be sensitive to loud noises, such as the elderly and veterans who may suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Pets can also react negatively to the sound created by fireworks.
Residents should also remember to:
- Watch professional 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.
- Be careful around even the smallest fireworks. Sparklers burn at 1,800 degrees and could easily cause severe burns and injuries
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states 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 2007-2016 were to children under age 18. More than a quarter of the victims were children under age 10.
Anyone who has questions about fireworks or firework safety should contact the Wakefield Police Department at 781-245-1212.