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Be Safe with Fireworks, Keep 911 Open for emergencies

Be Safe with Fireworks,
Keep 911 Open for emergencies

Noise reports can be made online, through 311 mobile app, and by phone; call 911 for fireworks-related life safety or fire hazard concerns
June 30, 2015 (MINNEAPOLIS) Fourth of July fireworks are part of Independence Day celebrations, and the noise complaints and safety issues they generate lead to high call volumes at 911 call centers across the country. That’s why the City, the Minneapolis Police Department and the Minneapolis Fire Department want to make sure folks stay safe this holiday weekend and know what to do if they have fireworks-related complaints.

Fireworks safety
• Read, understand and follow the instructions on each device prior to using.
• Use fireworks with close adult supervision.
• Choose a safe place to use fireworks. Fireworks should only be ignited outdoors and away from animals, buildings, storage tanks, brush or combustible materials.
• Anyone acting in an irresponsible manner or who appears to be under the influence of alcohol or other drugs should not handle or discharge fireworks.
• Keep fireworks away from small children and store them in a cool dry location away from sources of ignition (heat and flames).
• Never ignite fireworks inside another container, such as inside a bottle or can.

Visit http://www.fireworkssafety.org/safety-tips/ for more fireworks safety tips.
What’s legal, what’s not
It’s also important to know what’s legal and what’s not when setting off fireworks in Minneapolis:
• Non-explosive fireworks are legal in Minneapolis. Examples include sparklers, cones, tubes that spark, snakes, and party poppers.
• It is legal to use these types of fireworks in your yard or on your sidewalk.
• Fireworks that explode or take off are illegal in Minneapolis. Examples include firecrackers, bottle rockets, missiles, roman candles, mortars and shells.
• It is illegal to use any fireworks on public property including roads, alleys, schools, and parks.

Noise reports
On a typical July 4th evening, Minneapolis 911 receives hundreds of calls per hour, most of which are related to fireworks noise complaints. On a normal day, Minneapolis 911 will receive fewer than 100 calls per hour. Because of the huge volume of calls, police officers cannot be dispatched to each fireworks noise incident on or near the 4th of July.
Reducing the number of noise complaints to 911 will help ensure that 911 emergency calls are answered as quickly as possible, and that all emergency responders are available to respond to calls about more serious crimes, fires and medical emergencies.
Minneapolis 911 increases staffing during this busy period, but folks can help us make sure emergency calls are answered as quickly as possible, by not calling 911 with fireworks noise complaints. Instead, noise reports can be made online, through the 311 mobile app or by calling 311.
Residents should note that Minneapolis 311 is closed July 4, and will be open from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Sunday, July 3, but the mobile application can be used any time to make a report. City staff will review the complaint during normal business hours when offices open again and may follow up with the property owner the complaint references, but a police squad will not be dispatched.

For fireworks-related issues that pose life safety threats or fire hazards, residents should call 911 and police, fire or medical help will be dispatched.
Examples of calls that should go to 911 include:
• A situation where a person has been injured by fireworks.
• Airborne fireworks landing on a building or wooded area posing a fire risk.
• When the size of the fireworks gathering and the unruly behavior of the people involved begins to pose a threat to others.
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