Fireworks season is here and the Dartmouth Police Department shared important safety tips ahead of the Fourth of July holiday as the SouthCoast prepares to celebrate.

Are you thinking about putting on your own fireworks display? Consider this.

“According to the state Department of Fire Services and State Police, Massachusetts fire departments reported nearly 1,000 fires related to illegal fireworks between 2013 and 2022,” said the department. “In 2022 alone, fire departments reported 106 fires and explosions attributed to fireworks, an increase of nearly a third over the prior year.”

Get our free mobile app

Before you head over to Rhode Island to score some legal pyrotechnics, don’t forget that it is illegal to use, possess, or sell fireworks in Massachusetts. If you play with fire, you could receive a fine of up to $1,000 or even a one-year prison sentence.

To ensure a safe and carefree Fourth of July, keep the following tips in mind.

Key Safety Tips for Fourth of July Celebrations from Dartmouth PD

Attend organized and permitted fireworks displays only.

Report illegal fires to the police.

Remember that alcohol/drugs and fireworks do not mix.

Never allow young children to go near fireworks.

Keep pets indoors and away from fireworks. The loud noises and flashing lights can be frightening and overwhelming for pets. Pets can become frightened and run from familiar environments and people, becoming lost.

Tips on Getting Home Safely from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Be mindful of pedestrians.

Always wear your seatbelt.

Do not drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. From 2017 to 2021, 1,460 drivers were killed in motor vehicle crashes over the Fourth of July holiday period — 38% of the drivers killed were drunk.

Even if you’ve had only one alcoholic beverage, do not plan on driving. Instead, designate a sober driver or use a ride-share service to get home safely.

Take keys away from individuals who are under the influence and are planning to drive. Alcohol and drugs impair perception, judgment, motor skills, and memory, which are critical for safe and responsible driving.

If you see an impaired driver on the road, safely pull over and call 911.

Residents are encouraged to report any misuse of fireworks they notice in the community to the Dartmouth Police Department at 508-910-1700.

Fairhaven Vet Offers Tips to Keep Dogs Calm During Fireworks

Independence Day can be Anxiety Day for our four-legged friends who aren't used to loud noises. Dr. Michael Rocha from Capeway Veterinarian in Fairhaven offers some tips to keep dogs calm.

14 SouthCoast Destinations to Catch Summer Fireworks

Looking for fireworks? Here are the displays happening around the SouthCoast and beyond in 2022. Check back here for updated information as we get closer to the holiday.

More From WFHN-FM/FUN 107