Hull Police Chief John E. Dunn and his police department this week shared several important safety tips for residents as they prepare to celebrate Independence Day at home and by the beach.
Fireworks of all kinds, including Class C fireworks, which are sometimes falsely called “safe and sane fireworks,” are illegal to use, possess or sell in Massachusetts. Residents should also note that open burning is legal in the state only between Jan. 15 and May 1.
The Hull Police Department will take enhanced measures, including ramped-up enforcement of beach parking regulations, to ensure that the ban on bonfires during the summer months is strictly adhered to and that fireworks are not being used at any time.
“As with every holiday, we want our residents to have fun and enjoy the time spent with family and friends,” Dunn said. “However, it is our utmost priority and concern that all residents, regardless of their age, celebrate safely and responsibly. To ensure everyone’s safety, we ask that residents refrain from illegal fireworks use, do not light bonfires, and do not operate a vehicle while impaired.”
Below is some basic information on the fireworks law in Massachusetts:
What is prohibited by the law?
Private citizens cannot use, possess, or sell fireworks anywhere in Massachusetts, nor can they purchase them legally elsewhere and transport them into Massachusetts. The law prohibits any item designed to produce a visible or audible effect. Class C fireworks, which are also illegal in this state, include sparklers, party poppers, snappers, firecrackers, spinners, cherry bombs, and more.
What are the penalties?
A fine of up to $100 and mandatory confiscation of the fireworks, which cannot be returned.
Is there any danger associated with fireworks?
According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the misuse of fireworks can cause death and injuries, including severe burns, contusions, lacerations, and eye injuries.
Illegal fireworks can also bring with them the potential for property damage, in addition to injury or fatality. If a fire or explosion caused by legal or illegal fireworks causes injuries or damage, the person responsible could be charged with a criminal offense.
Additionally, the Police Department reminded residents to be aware of several safety measures during Fourth of July celebrations:
- Do not drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Be mindful of pedestrians.
- Attend only organized and permitted fireworks displays.
- Report illegal fires to the police.
- Remember that alcohol/drugs and fireworks do not mix.
- Keep pets indoors
The department also urged residents to observe the following advice from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on getting home safely following Fourth of July celebrations:
- Even if you’ve had only one alcoholic beverage, do not plan on driving.
- Designate a sober driver or use public transportation or a ride-share service to get home safely.
- Take keys away from individuals who are under the influence and are planning to drive. Alcohol and drugs can impair perception, judgment, motor skills, and memory, which are critical for safe and responsible driving.
- If you see an impaired driver on the road, call 911.