OLYMPIA, Wash. - To avoid tying up 911 operators this Fourth of July, the Washington fire marshal's office is asking the public to call 911 only in the event of a real emergency.
For example, don't call to ask if fireworks are legal in your city or to report fireworks being used in a banned area or time; call a non-emergency police or fire number.
The fire marshal's office says do call 911 to report a fire or injury caused by fireworks or if someone is making their own fireworks.
The Washington State Patrol says this list should be used a guide when to call 911 regarding fireworks.
When to call 911:
- You have a fireworks-related injury
- A fire has started due to use of fireworks
- A neighbor is using illegal fireworks (M-80s, for example)
- You have found a short piece a pipe with a fuse coming out of it
- Your next-door neighbor is making fireworks in their garage
Don’t call 911 for the following:
- Trying to find out if fireworks are legal in your city or county. Search the Internet for local restrictions or call your local police or fire department’s NON-EMERGENCY phone number.
- Reporting fireworks violations, whether they are being used in a banned area or being used late at night or early morning.
- Learning where to get a fireworks stand license. Call the state fire marshal at (360) 596-3913 or check the Internet.
- You have old fireworks you want to get rid of. Call your local police or fire department’s NON-EMERGENCY phone number.
- If your neighbor has a storage container filled with fireworks. Call your local police department’s NON-EMERGENCY phone number.