The Chelmsford Police Department is asking residents to leave fireworks to the professionals this Fourth of July.
It is illegal to use, possess, or sell fireworks of any kind in Massachusetts, including so-called "fountains" and "sparklers." Citizens are also prohibited from purchasing them elsewhere and then transporting them into the state.
This doesn't mean citizens cannot enjoy fireworks displays this holiday. I recommend that residents only attend celebrations put on by a licensed professional to ensure safety for all.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that fireworks can cause death and injury, including burns, loss of limbs or extremities, contusions, lacerations and eye injuries.
Throughout Massachusetts, police and firefighters have recorded 785 major fires and explosions involving illegal fireworks in the past 10 years, causing numerous injuries to civilians and also to first responders.
Residents should also remember to:
• Watch fireworks displays from a safe distance
• Call 911 if anyone gets injured by fireworks
• Set a positive example for children by not using illegal fireworks. If kids see adults using them, they may not realize the dangers and could be encouraged to pick up matches or lighters
• Be careful around even the smallest fireworks. Sparklers burn at 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit and could easily cause severe burns and injuries.
We recognize that fireworks are a popular activity during the Independence Day season, but we encourage residents to celebrate responsibly. Attend a display put on by licensed professionals and always remember to keep fireworks away from children.
Stay Safe - Chief James M. Spinney