STOW, Mass. (WWLP)– With July 4th celebrations on the horizon, the State Fire Marshal and State Police are reminding people that fireworks are illegal in Massachusetts and can be dangerous if not handled properly.

According to the Department of Fire Services (DFS) 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.

“People are injured and property is lost to illegal fireworks every single year in Massachusetts,” State Fire Marshal Ostroskey said. “As we enter the period when most of these incidents occur, we’re reminding everyone that fireworks are illegal because they are dangerous. Many cities and towns will have professional fireworks displays this year, so play it safe and leave fireworks to the professionals.”

“The possession, use, and sale of fireworks are illegal in Massachusetts without certification and licensing,” said Colonel Mason. “Massachusetts law requires the confiscation of any illegal fireworks we encounter, even if legally purchased elsewhere. State Police and our local partners will be conducting targeted enforcement efforts to intercept illegal fireworks coming into the state and we will seize any that we find in routine traffic stops.”

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 of law enforcement.

The DFS has a list of permitted municipal fireworks displays provides updates it throughout the summer. To view the list and to learn more about the dangers of illegal fireworks visit the DFS website