Massachusetts State Troopers Seize Large Volume of Fireworks
The Fourth of July holiday is right around the corner and Massachusetts State Troopers are reminding residents that fireworks are illegal in the Commonwealth on the heals of a large seizure.
The Office of the State Fire Marshal and the Massachusetts State Police are conducting ongoing efforts targeting fireworks purchased in other states that are being brought across borders into Massachusetts, where they are illegal.
This past weekend on Friday, June 24, Troopers from the Department’s Division of Investigative Services and Firearms and Explosives Investigation Unit stopped several motor vehicles whose passengers had purchased fireworks in another state and carried them into Massachusetts.
As a result, seven people were issued summons to appear in court to face charges of illegal possession of fireworks, and Troopers seized around 425 items, many of which contained 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, and Roman candles, among other types.
The following day, Troopers issued six summonses and seized 654 items, many containing large volumes of individual shots, with a total value of more than $10,000. 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, Troopers issued summons to five more people and seized 501 items worth more than $10,000 in total. As in the previous two operations, seized items included cakes, fountains aerial shells, bottle rockets, and Roman candles.
All seized fireworks were documented and secured for eventual destruction. The fireworks interdiction efforts are ongoing.
Between 2012 and 2021, Massachusetts fire departments reported more than 900 fires related to illegal fireworks. Not only are these fires dangerous, but the state reports that they caused 43 fire service injuries and $2.1 million in damages. Massachusetts medical facilities reported 31 severe burn injuries extending to 5% or more of the victims’ bodies that were caused by illegal fireworks.
Officials emphasized that fireworks, including sparklers and firecrackers, are especially unsafe around children. Sparklers burn at temperatures of over 1,800° Fahrenheit – hotter than the melting point of glass and aluminum. According to a report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, an estimated 1,600 emergency department-treated injuries associated with firecrackers and 900 with sparklers were reported in 2020, accounting for almost 10% of all fireworks-related injuries that year. Of the 900 injuries from sparklers, 44% were to children under the age of 5.
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