Fireworks and Calling 911; When is it Appropriate?

Every year around the Fourth of July, 911 operators are inundated with calls regarding fireworks. The majority of these calls are non-emergency related, but tie up the 911 system, potentially delaying an emergency call from getting through.

The chart below has been produced with input from a number of Emergency Dispatch Centers and should be used as a guide in determining when call 911 regarding fireworks.

Who do you call to report illegal fireworks or suspicious activities involving fireworks?

Incident or Question?

Call 911?

If not a call to 9-1-1 who should I call?
Are fireworks legal within the city or county I live in?

No

Fireworks inquiries can be answered by searching the internet for local restrictions or calling the local police or fire department’s non-emergency phone number.

MACECOM’s non-emergency phone number: 360-426-4441

I want to report fireworks violations:

·         Being used in a fireworks ban area

·         Time of use (after 11:00 p.m. and before 9:00 a.m.)

No

Fireworks violations may be reported by calling the police department’s non-emergency phone number.

MACECOM’s non-emergency phone number: 360-426-4441

I have a firework related injury from using fireworks, example:

·       Burns

·       Injury to eye

·       Severed body parts

Yes

Call 911

 

 

A fire has started from the use of fireworks.

Yes

Call 911

The neighbor is using illegal fireworks (M-80s).

Yes

Call 911

Or the local police department’s non-emergency phone number.

MACECOM’s non-emergency phone number: 360-426-4441

Where do I get a Fireworks Stand License?

No

Call the State Fire Marshal’s Office at

(360) 596-3913, or check the internet: http://www.wsp.wa.gov/fire/firemars.htm .

I have old consumer fireworks I want to get rid of.

No

Call the local police or fire department’s non-emergency phone number.

MACECOM’s non-emergency phone number: 360-426-4441

I have found a short piece of pipe with a fuse coming out of it.

Yes

Call 911

Leave the device where it is and do not pick it up.
There is a storage container at the neighbor’s house loaded with fireworks.

No

Call the local police or fire department’s non-emergency phone number.

MACECOM’s non-emergency phone number: 360-426-4441

My next door neighbor is making fireworks in his garage.

Yes

Call 911

Calling 911:

Reporting illegal activities or use of fireworks to 911 should be limited to those instances when the activity is in progress and poses a threat or danger to others or yourself.

Remember the 3 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

For more information about fireworks safety, public fireworks displays and the fireworks laws for your area, check out: http://www.wsp.wa.gov/fire/fireworks.htm.