As warmer weather approaches and festivities loom on the horizon, one expects many different sights that accompany the celebrations in the coming months. Often fireworks are considered vital to a celebration in the spring and summer months. Supervised displays of fireworks by municipalities, fair associations, amusement parks and other organizations are authorized under Massachusetts law. However, private uses of fireworks are still prohibited under the rules of the Commonwealth and punishable by fines and even jail time.
No person shall sell, or keep or offer for sale, or have in his possession, or under his control, or use, or explode, or cause to explode, any combustible or explosive composition or substance, or any combination of such compositions or substances, or any other article, which was prepared for the purpose of producing a visible or audible effect by combustion, explosion, deflagration, or detonation.
For the purposes of this section the word “fireworks” shall include compositions, substances or other articles and shall also include blank cartridges or toy cannons in which explosives are used, the type of toy balloon which requires fire underneath to propel the same, firecrackers, cherry bombs, silver salutes, M-80’s, torpedoes, sky-rockets, Roman candles, sparklers, rockets, wheels, colored fires, fountains, mines, serpents, or other fireworks of like construction or any fireworks containing any explosive or flammable compound, or any tablets or other device containing any explosive substance.
While the criminal penalties are listed in the statute, there is no mention for liability for a civil action brought against a person, or corporation, for fireworks causing damage to another that originate on their property. Continue reading →