In advance of the Independence Day holiday, the City of Cambridge wants to remind the community that fireworks are illegal, dangerous, and can cause trauma for residents.
Possession, transportation, and use of fireworks (except by licensed professionals) are illegal in Massachusetts. People who have or use fireworks, including sparklers, can be fined between $10-$100. People who sell fireworks can face a fine and potential jail time. Any fireworks observed by law enforcement will be confiscated.
Fireworks, including sparklers are not safe, especially around children. Sparklers burn at temperatures of over 1,800° Fahrenheit. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said, “there were an estimated 1,600 emergency department-treated injuries associated with firecrackers and 900 with sparklers” in 2020. This accounted for almost 10% of all fireworks-related injuries that year. Of those 900 injuries from sparklers, 44% were to children under the age of 5 as children suffer some of the most severe burn injuries caused by sparklers. Fireworks can cause injuries to fingers, hands, face and ears, as well as burn and eye injuries.
Fireworks can start fires resulting in people losing their homes and property. In 2021, fireworks sparked at least five fires in nearby Brockton on the Fourth of July weekend alone, including a house fire that left four people without a home and another that caused damage at an apartment complex.
In addition to causing a number of quality of life issues, the sound of fireworks can also cause anxiety and needlessly frighten small children, pets, our elderly residents, retired military, and neighborhoods affected by gun violence, and our urban wildlife.
The week of July 4th is a very busy time for our public safety departments. Cambridge Firefighters, Police Officers, Emergency Medical Staff, and Emergency Communications Staff urge everyone to leave fireworks to the professionals. Help us prevent injuries and devastating fires, and protect the people of our city.
If you have any information on fireworks or wish to report fireworks activity, please call Cambridge Emergency Communications at 617-349-3300. Anonymous tips may also be sent via text message to 847411. Begin your text with TIP650 and then type your message.