Know when to call 9-1-1 during fireworks season


Each year around the Fourth of July, 9-1-1 operators are inundated with calls regarding fireworks. The majority of these calls are not emergencies, but the calls tie up the 9-1-1 system, potentially delaying an emergency call from getting through.

The Office of the State Fire Marshal and Emergency Dispatch centers advise citizens to think about who and when to call to report illegal fireworks, fires and other activities involving fireworks.

DO call 9-1-1 when:

• A fire has started from the use of fireworks
• You or someone you are with has a firework-related injury, such as burns, eye injuries or severed body parts
• The neighbor is using illegal fireworks
• You find a short piece of pipe with a fuse coming out of it
• Your next door neighbor is making fireworks in his garage.

DO NOT call 9-1-1 when:

• You want to find out if fireworks are legal within the city or county you live in (call the local fire or police department or check the Internet)
• You want to report fireworks violations in banned areas or times (call the police department non-emergency line)
• You want to purchase a fireworks stand license (call the Office of the State Fire Marshal at 360-596-3913 or check the Internet)
• You have old consumer fireworks you want to get rid of (call the local fire or police department)
• There is a storage container at the neighbor’s house loaded with fireworks (call the local fire or police department).

Reporting illegal activities or use of fireworks to 9-1-1 should be limited to those instances when the activity is in progress and poses a threat or danger to others or yourself.
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