SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Many people celebrate the 4th of July with a fireworks display, but the entertainment it provides also comes with a risk.

According to a report from the consumer product safety commission, 20 people died from firework related injuries in 2020 compared to 12 the year before. In Massachusetts, fireworks are illegal.

However, residents often go over the border to New Hampshire to purchase their displays. If you plan to head to a state where it is legal to have fireworks, it’s important to stay safe this holiday.

Here are a few safety rules you should follow: 

  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  • Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
  • Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don’t realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees – hot enough to melt some metals.
  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  • After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.

Under state law, you cannot be arrested for simply possessing fireworks, however you may be fined up to $100 if you are caught in possession.