Massachusetts Fireworks Law and Your Home Insurance

By: Donna Craven, CPL

Donna is a licensed insurance broker who has worked in the industry for more than 28 years.

The Massachusetts fireworks law is pretty simple: if you don’t have a professional license, it’s illegal to use them. It’s also illegal to sell fireworks or have fireworks in your possession (even if you purchased them legally in another state).

What’s included in Massachusetts’ definition of “fireworks?”

Anything explosive/combustible that gives off a visual or audible effect (e.g. bottle rockets, cherry bombs, snappers, snakes, party poppers)—and yes, the list includes sparklers.

Are sparklers illegal in Massachusetts?

Yes, just to be clear, we’ll say it again. Sparklers are illegal in Massachusetts. They burn at nearly 2,000 degrees, which is hotter than the temperature at which gold melts. They aren’t a smart way to celebrate Independence Day if you’re an adult—let alone a child.

Under Massachusetts fireworks law, what’s the penalty for having fireworks in your possession?

The police will definitely confiscate any fireworks or sparklers you have. They could also issue a fine between $10 and $100.

If you’re thinking $10 to $100 is no big deal, keep reading. The real risk with fireworks is the safety threat they pose—to people and to nearby property. Unlicensed users could easily injure someone or start a fire. Accidents happen every year, in pretty large numbers. See below for the national stats.

Does home insurance cover fireworks damage?

In some states, depending on the circumstances, it might. But remember: MA home insurance won’t cover you for damage caused by illegal acts. And because fireworks are illegal in Massachusetts, any incident involving private use would not be covered by insurance.

Please keep this in mind when planning your backyard cookouts and beach parties.

Does home insurance cover fireworks-related injuries?

Again, MA home insurance won’t cover you for damage caused by illegal acts. So, although your homeowner’s policy does include liability coverage (for folks who might get injured on your property), cases related to fireworks would likely be excluded—not covered. And that means you could be on the hook for expensive medical or legal expenses.

What if someone brings fireworks/sparklers to my house party? Am I at fault for any injuries?

We aren’t lawyers and every situation is unique. But for sure, your safest bet—in terms of personal liability—is to ban guests from bringing these items onto your property.

How often do people get injured by fireworks?

In 2017 alone, nearly 13,000 Americans went to the emergency room with fireworks-related injuries. Sparklers, all by themselves, accounted for one-fourth of these injuries, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

How often do fireworks cause fires?

On average, fireworks set off about 18,500 fires per year, according to the National Safety Council.

What can I use instead of fireworks to brighten up my summer party?

The Internet is exploding with firework alternatives. A two-minute Google search will yield ideas like: bubble machines, glow sticks, light-up hula hoops, silly string, LED balloons… and more. Take some time to explore these other colorful options. Your guests (and your insurance company) will be grateful.

Meanwhile, have you read our posts on swimming pool insurance and fire pit safety?

Hope you have a safe and happy July 4th! Please give us a call if you have any questions about these or other home insurance topics: 508.339.2951.