WORCESTER - Worcester City Manager Ed Augustus announced a task force to address complaints about the use of illegal fireworks this summer.
The task force is a collaboration between the Worcester Police Department and Fire Department to collect fireworks complaint information and respond to problem areas.
The task force will collect information from complaints and responded to problem areas. They will also go door-to-door in firework “hotspots” educating residents of the dangers of illegal fireworks and the adverse effects it has on quality of life in the community.
In 2020, the Worcester Police Department received 1,993 complaint calls between mid-June and mid-August. Officials saw a gradual decrease in the number of complaints per week following the establishment of a safety task force and educational efforts.
According to Massachusetts Department of Fire Services Information, in the past decade, there have been 941 major fire and explosion incidents involving illegal fireworks reported to the Massachusetts Fire Incident Reporting System (MFIRS). The incidents caused 12 civilian injuries, 42 fire service injuries, and an estimated $2.1 million dollars-worth of damage.
According to MGL Chapter 148, S. 39, the sale of fireworks allows for a fine up $1,000 and maximum of 1 year in prison. Possession and use allows for a fine up to $100 and confiscation.