FAIRHAVEN -- With the Fourth of July holiday one week away, the Fairhaven Police Department urges residents to leave fireworks to the professionals and reminds them that possessing or using fireworks in the state of Massachusetts is against the law.

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.

"Use of fireworks should be left up to the professionals," Lt. Kevin Kobza said. "Using fireworks illegally poses a danger not only to those in possession, but neighbors and friends as well. Please be safe and help to avoid accidents and injury this year."

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 may also be susceptible to such noises.

This does not mean residents cannot enjoy fireworks displays over the course of the summer. However, Lt. Kobza recommends that residents only attend celebrations put on by a licensed professional to ensure safety.

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 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.

-Fairhaven Police Dept.