June 15 2020

Burlington Fire Department Urges Residents to Leave Fireworks to the Professionals


The Burlington Fire Department is asking all residents to leave setting off fireworks to the professionals. 


“The Fourth of July is a busy time for firefighters,” a release shared by the department states. “They are supervising professional fireworks shows and responding to all types of fires and medical emergencies. There may be fewer fireworks shows this year due to social distancing, but fire departments will still be very busy. In fact, the week of July 4th is one of the busiest times of the year for fires. Firefighters, police officers, and medical professionals ask you to help us during this pandemic, and leave the fireworks to the professionals.”


Not only is the use of fireworks potentially dangerous it is also illegal in the state of Massachusetts. 


“The possession and use of all fireworks by private citizens is illegal in Massachusetts,” the release states. :This includes 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. Sparklers burn at 1800oF. It is illegal to transport fireworks into Massachusetts, even if they were purchased legally elsewhere. Illegal fireworks can be confiscated on the spot.”


The Burlington Fire Department also argues that setting off illegal fireworks sets a bad example for younger people at 4th of July and other parties. 


“Children imitate adults,” the release states. “If you use fireworks, children will copy you, not realizing how very dangerous fireworks are. Thirty-eight percent of fireworks-related burn injuries reported by hospitals to the Office of the State Fire Marshal in the last 10 years were to children under age 18. Twenty-five percent were children under age 10.


The department shared some examples of the damage that fireworks have caused in the state. 


“In the past decade, there have been 858 major fire and explosion incidents involving illegal fireworks reported to the Massachusetts Fire Incident Reporting System (MFIRS). The incidents caused 12 civilian injuries, 40 fire service injuries, and an estimated dollar loss of $2.9 million, which is high considering most fireworks fires are outdoor brush fires.


- On June 22, 2019, the Plainville Fire Department responded to a building fire in a trash compactor. Someone put fireworks down the trash chute and into the compactor. The fireworks ignited the trash.


- On July 2, 2019, the Taunton Fire Department was called to a fire in a single-family home. The fire began while the homeowner was building wooden racks to launch illegal fireworks from his deck. The racks surrounded him on the deck. One of the fireworks exploded and set off many other fireworks. The detonations ignited the deck.


- On July 3, 2019, the Randolph Fire Department was called to a fire at the Town Hall. The fire was started by fireworks on the roof. Damage from the fire was estimated at $50,000.


- On July 4, 2019, the Boston Fire Department was called to a fire in a 3-unit apartment building. The fire was started by fireworks on the front porch.


They also shared examples of personal injuries caused by at-home firework use. 


“In the past decade, 37 people were treated at Massachusetts emergency rooms for severe burns injuries from fireworks (burns covering 5 percent or more of the body) according to the Massachusetts Burn Injury Reporting System (M-BIRS). Fiftyfour percent of the victims were under age 25. These victims are scarred for life.


- On July 4, 2019, a 29-year old Charlton man received burns to 9% of his body and puncture wounds to his back from a fireworks explosion. State Police confiscated a large cache of illegal fireworks from his home.


- On July 4, 2019, a 28-year old Lynn man burned both of his hands while lighting fireworks. 


- On July 5, 2019, a 16-year old male from Dartmouth received 1st- & 2nd-degree burns on the lower portions of his body from a fireworks explosion.


- On July 9, 2019, a 4-year old Boston girl grabbed a burning sparkler that someone else was holding and received burns to her left hand. 


- On July 10, 2019, a 29-year old Rutland man received burns to his upper extremities from fireworks.


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