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Driving through the state recently, you may have noticed signs, like the one below, reminding motorists that consumer fireworks are illegal in Massachusetts.
.@MassDOT supports @DFSPIO #StateFireMarshal message: #fireworks illegal in #ma. Leave it to the professionals. pic.twitter.com/w0cVwMolMM— Mass. Transportation (@MassDOT) June 27, 2014
"While fireworks may be purchased legally in other states, it is illegal to bring them into or through Massachusetts," State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan said in a mid-June statement announcing the message boards, which have been up off and on over the last two weeks.
Massachusetts' fireworks ban is well-known here, but residents might not know how rare such a law is. Only four states ban all consumer fireworks, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. (Hat tip to The Washington Post for this data.)
The three other states that ban all fireworks are also in the Northeast: Delaware, New Jersey and New York. Six other states also have more targeted restrictions, allowing only sparklers and/or other novelty fireworks.
The Post reported:
About 11,400 people were treated at [U.S.] hospital emergency rooms for fireworks-related injuries last summer, according to CPSC estimates, with about 65 percent believed to have occurred from June 21 to July 21.
Coan, the state's fire marshal, is a firm backer of Massachusetts' ban.
“Our strong fireworks laws and public education efforts here in Massachusetts are effective in reducing fires and injuries from fireworks," he said in the June statement.
He added, as an example:
Some fireworks are legal in Washington state which has about the same size population as Massachusetts. They experience almost twice as many fires from fireworks, and have 45 injuries from fireworks for every one we experience here in the Commonwealth.