(WWLP) – State Police seized thousands of fireworks from people bringing them into Massachusetts this past weekend.
According to the Massachusetts State Police, Troopers from the Department’s Division of Investigative Services and Firearms and Explosives Investigation Unit conducted interdiction efforts targeting purchasers of fireworks in other states who then bring them into Massachusetts, where possession is illegal.
On Friday, seven people were issued a summons to face charges of illegal possession of fireworks for approximately 425 items, many containing large volumes of multiple shots, with a total value of approximately $8,000. Among the items seized were aerial shells, cakes, large rockets, fountains, sparklers, Roman candles, and others.
On Saturday, six summons were issued. State Police seized 654 items, many containing large volumes of individual shots, with a total value of more than $10,00 were seized. Among the items seized were aerial shells, cakes, fountains, bottle rockets, large rockets, Roman candles, sparklers, and 34 packs of firecrackers containing a total of 17,337 individual firecrackers.
On Sunday, five summonses were issued and 501 items were seized worth more than $10,000. Among the items seized were cakes, fountains aerial shells, bottle rockets, and Roman candles.
Police will continue the interdiction efforts through the holiday. All fireworks seized will eventually be destroyed.
it is illegal for residents to use or sell fireworks in Massachusetts. It is also illegal to purchase fireworks from neighboring states, such as New Hampshire, and transport them into the state.
According to State Police, there were more than 900 fires related to illegal fireworks between 2012 and 2021 across the state. Thirty-one people sustained severe burn injuries that impacted 5% or more of their bodies.
Sparklers caused a high number of injuries among children. In 2020, there were some 1,600 injuries due to sparklers across the country, 900 of them children. Sparklers burn at temperatures of over 1,800° Fahrenheit – hotter than the melting point of glass and aluminum.
The good news, the state reports that fireworks fires were down 67% during the summer of 2021 compared to 2020, with only 40 incidents reported. Officials attribute the decline to the return of municipal-sponsored public fireworks displays and the increase in law enforcement.