Worcester officials announced Friday that a fireworks group would be set up this summer to try to educate residents about the potential dangers of pyrotechnics and to reduce the number of illegal demonstrations.
“A lot of people don’t realize how dangerous fireworks can be,” said Worcester Fire Department chief Michael Lavoie. âWe have seen serious injuries from these demonstrations over the years. Over the past year, we have received an alarming increase in complaints from residents concerned about the disturbance caused by the noise fireworks in their neighborhood. We don’t want to repeat that. “
From mid-June to mid-August last year, the city filed 1,993 complaint calls about fireworks, according to a statement. After the creation of a task force, the number of calls decreased.
âWe take these complaints very seriously,â said City Manager Edward Augustus Jr. âFireworks are dangerous and affect the quality of life in our neighborhoods. We are taking various measures to address this issue and ensure our residents have a safe and enjoyable summer. “
Anyone wishing to report the use of illegal fireworks is encouraged to call the Worcester Police Department complaint number at 508-799-8606.
Police and fire brigade will collect information from complaints and respond to problem areas, the city said. Officials and firefighters can go door-to-door in areas known as âhotspotsâ for fireworks to educate residents.
“Our officers will be back this summer to work with our partners in the Worcester Fire Department to educate the public about the dangers of illegal fireworks,” said Police Chief Steven Sargent. “Although enforcement is sometimes necessary, our most important success criterion will be compliance by our residents.”
Officials said fireworks are not only illegal, they can also be dangerous and negatively affect the quality of life in the community.
Major fires and explosions with illegal fireworks have been reported to the Massachusetts Fire Incident Reporting System 941 in the past 10 years, the city said, citing information from the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services. These incidents caused 12 civilian injuries, 42 firefighter injuries and an estimated loss of $ 2.1 million.
According to the Massachusetts Fireworks Law, MGL Chapter 148, p. 39, selling fireworks can be punished with a fine of up to $ 1,000 and a maximum of 1 year in prison.