A Very Different Fourth

Published by Chris Wangler - July 3, 2020.

Like other communities, Waltham has seen a large spike in fireworks complaints―a sixfold increase over last year.

With no fireworks display planned for July 4th at Leary Field, some residents will set off their own, even though public safety officials are discouraging it.

“The possession or use of fireworks by private citizens in Massachusetts is strictly illegal,” said Massachusetts Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey.

“Fireworks accidents often result in life-altering injuries for the users and bystanders, and cause fires that leave many people homeless,” he added.

The Department of Fire Services (DFS) said 38% of fireworks-related burns over the last 10 years were to children under 18 and 25% were to children under 10.

Loud noises from fireworks also alarm both cats and dogs.

From April 1 to July 1 last year, there were 8 fireworks complaints in Waltham, according to Waltham Police. During the same period this year, there’s been 49.

That’s six times as many complaints. The increase is likely due to coronavirus changes in behavior.

“People are home and bored so they set them off,” said Waltham Police Sergeant Bill Gallant.

“People staying home are hearing more fireworks than normal and thus are more likely to call the police after a while,” he said.

DFS video screengrab