WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Fourth of July is right around the corner, which typically means an increase in the use of illegal fireworks in the area.
But it’s not only against the law to use them, but they’re also a potential fire hazard. We spoke with the West Springfield Fire Department Lieutenant, Michael Dickinson, about the dangers.
Lt. Dickinson told 22News, “The embers come down they’re still well over a thousand degrees they can embed themselves in roofs or sidings, shingles. And hey can create a fire hazard that we’ve seen in surrounding communities.”
Fires caused by the illegal use of fireworks in Massachusetts caused a two-alarm house fire in Worcester last month and a porch fire in Springfield. Lt. Dickinson also told 22News that fireworks burn at a much higher degree than many people think, even sparklers burn at 1800 degrees Farenheight.
“The proximity they hold them to their body they represent a fire hazard to your clothing and to yourself as a burn hazard,” said Dickinson.
Emergency rooms see more firework-related injuries as the fourth of July approaches. Dr. Beltran, a Baystate Health Emergency Department physician, told 22News that around July Baystate Health emergency rooms see an uptick in fireworks-related injuries.
“Usually we see about 30 days before and about 30 days afterward this uptick with the pinnacle really occurring or really the peak usually occurring around the fourth of July where we’ll see burn injuries, eye injuries, ear injuries,” said Dr. Beltran.
Doctors still encourage people to seek medical attention if they are hurt using fireworks. You could be fined between $10 and $100 for the use and possession of illegal fireworks in Massachusetts.