State officials warn residents of illegal fireworks - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

State officials warn residents of illegal fireworks

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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

Fourth of July celebrations are in full swing in Western Mass this week.

If you're preparing to set off a dazzling display of fireworks in your own backyard, you may want to think twice.

While fireworks and sparklers may be fine and legal in the border state of Connecticut, cross over into Massachusetts with them and you'll be hit with a hefty fine.

"Fireworks are illegal in the state of Massachusetts," Sgt. Alan Joubert of the Massachusetts State Police Department said.

His team, along with the State Fire Marshal's Office, is sending a reminder to residents this holiday season that you can face a severe penalty if you're caught with fireworks.

"It's $100 to $1,000 in fines, up to a year in jail and the fireworks all confiscated," Joubert explained. 

With signs up and down the Interstate 91 corridor advertising firework sales in neighboring states like New Hampshire and Connecticut, it may be tempting to cross over and buy some. However, Sgt. Joubert said that may not be such a great idea.

"By bringing them back here, you put yourself in the position of getting a criminal offense or being arrested," Joubert said.

He said you'll also save yourself from injury.

Dr. Ronald Gross is the chief of the trauma division at Baystate Medical Center.

He's seen it all when it comes to firework injuries.

"Missing digits, sometimes missing hands, depending on the size of the explosive," Gross said.

He said even sparklers that seem innocent enough can burn up to 2,000 degrees which can lead to serious injury. 

"Now you're talking about weeks and months in a burn center with multiple surgeries for skin graphs," Gross said.

According to Gross, you can save yourself a visit to the hospital by leaving the fireworks to the professionals.

"It's common sense you don't do something as dangerous as deal with an explosive unless you have been trained to do something with an explosive. It's simple," Gross said.

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