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When is it Appropriate to Call 911 on the Fourth of July?

It’s our Independence Day! The Fourth of July usually means fireworks, grilling and having fun in the hot, hot sun. Unfortunately, when you put all those things together, accidents can happen and you need to get help. But how do you know if your situation is serious enough to call busy 911 dispatchers, who may already be dealing with other life-or-death situations? Here are some helpful guidelines from the state fire marshal.

These are NOT reasons to call 911:

  • To ask if fireworks are legal in your city.
  • To report someone using fireworks in a banned area.
  • To report a neighbor’s shed or garage full of fireworks.
  • To get rid of unused fireworks.

These ARE valid reasons to call 911:

  • Calls to report injury such as burns, severed body parts and/or injuries to the eye.
  • Fires caused by fireworks.
  • To report neighbors using illegal fireworks such as M-80s.
  • To report a short pipe with fuse sticking out of it.
  • To report someone making their own fireworks (like, in their garage).

Remember the three Bs of Fireworks:
Be Prepared — Have water nearby and put pets indoors
Be Safe — Only adults should light fireworks
Be Responsible — Clean up fireworks debris

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