Is it Safe and Legal to Use Fireworks in Rhode Island and Massachusetts?

Did you know that 66% of last year’s firework injuries in the U.S. occurred in the couple weeks leading up to and following the 4th of July? This accounts for two-thirds of all firework injuries in 2023 in the matter of one month! At Bottaro Injury Lawyers, we don’t highlight these statistics to scare you. But rather, to warn you. As personal injury attorneys practicing in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, we have handled our fire share of firework injury cases over the years. So, is it safe and legal to use fireworks in Rhode Island and Massachusetts?

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When it comes to handling your firework injury claim, there’s often more than meets the eye. At Bottaro Injury lawyers, we offer free case consultations to discuss things like, where were you hurt? In someone’s yard or at a public event? Were you using the fireworks or was someone else? Was the firework defective or otherwise malfunctioning? Call us any time, 24/7, to confidentially discuss these details and more.

In preparation for the upcoming July 4th holiday, today’s blog answers this question. We also offer safety statistics and ways to stay safe this holiday season!

Firework Use in Rhode Island

In Rhode Island, some fireworks are legal to enjoy, while others require users to obtain necessary permits first. Those sixteen (16) years or older are welcome to use ground-based and hand-held sparkling devices without a permit. Some examples of such fireworks include:

  • Fountains
  • Snappers or poppers
  • Illuminating torches
  • Toy smoke devices
  • Sparklers and dipped sticks

(R.I. Gen. Laws 11-13-1).

On the other hand, it is illegal to possess or use any device that “launches a projectile and/or makes a ‘bang’/detonation/report,” without having the proper permits. Illegal fireworks include:

  • Firecrackers
  • Rockets
  • Mortars

Regardless of legality or not, in 2023, around 9,700 people were treated in emergency rooms for firework injuries. 700 of those visits were for sparkler injuries. Sparklers burn at temperatures of around 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit! Even though Rhode Island allows people to use non-projectile fireworks for personal use, make sure to exercise caution!

Firework Use in Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, using fireworks is illegal for everyone. This includes sparklers and snappers. While Massachusetts is the only state that completely bans fireworks for personal use, you can still find commercial firework shows throughout the state!

fireworks exploding on black background

In Rhode Island, you could be charged with a felony, fined up to $1000, and/or face prison time for having or using illegal fireworks. In Massachusetts, you can face fines as well. While these penalties should deter people from using illegal fireworks, they often do not. 8 people died because of firework accidents last year. Do not put yourself in a position to become part of this statistic!

Despite the total firework ban in Massachusetts, people still found themselves hurt. Between 2019 and 2023, Massachusetts saw over 500 fires and explosions from illegal fireworks. During this same time, Massachusetts medical facilities treated more than 200 people for burns and other injuries associated with fireworks.

How to Stay Safe This Fourth of July

Whether you are in Rhode Island where some fireworks are legal, or in Massachusetts where you plan to visit a permitted firework display, we urge you to exercise caution and vigilance around fireworks. Some top safety tips include:

  • Always use fireworks outdoors and keep a bucket of water or hose nearby in case of emergency.
  • Never use fireworks while drinking.
  • Do not throw or point fireworks at others.
  • Do not attempt to re-light or otherwise handle a malfunctioning firework.
  • Designate a safety perimeter.
  • Avoid letting children use fireworks and be mindful of nearby pets.
  • Only light one firework at a time.
  • Soak all used and unused fireworks in water before throwing them away.

We hope that this blog article helps you make safe and legal choices this 4th of July. Have a happy and safe holiday!

It’s Good to Know Mike Bottaro – 24/7 Top-Rated Personal Injury Help

At Bottaro Injury Lawyers, we care for people. Attorney Mike Bottaro and his award-winning legal team handle all types of personal injury cases throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts. We can even help on cases in other states as well. We pride ourselves on our honesty, integrity, and results. Contact us 24/7 in any method you prefer for a fast, free, and confidential consultation about your case. Text or call us at 401-777-7777 or fill out our free and confidential online form. We are here to serve and help you!

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