Minneapolis, MN

This 4th of July, be safe with fireworks

Paula Carlsen

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN — Fireworks and barbeque with friends and family have been an inseparable part of the Fourth of July celebration every year. However, the noise complaints and safety issues they may cause lead to high call volumes at 911 call centers across the country.

The City of Minneapolis wants to ensure everyone stays safe and keeps in mind that the 911 service will be available only for emergencies.

Fireworks safety

  • Read, understand and follow the instructions on each device before using it.
  • Use fireworks with adult supervision all the time.
  • Choose a safe place to use fireworks. Fireworks should only be ignited outdoors and away from animals, buildings, storage tanks, bushes, or combustible materials.
  • Anyone acting irresponsibly 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 a bottle or can.

What’s legal and illegal

  • 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.

When to call 911

For fireworks-related issues that pose life safety threats or fire hazards, residents should call 911 for police, fire department or medical help.

Examples of calls that should go to 911 include:

  • A person injured/wounded by fireworks.
  • Airborne fireworks landing on a building or wooded area potentially be a fire risk.
  • The size of a fireworks gathering and unsafe behavior is beginning to become a threat to others.

Make noise reports online

Decreasing the number of noise complaints to 911 will allow emergency calls to be answered as quickly as possible. On a Fourth of July 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 volume, police officers cannot be dispatched to each fireworks noise incident around the Fourth of July, but calls will be prioritized to ensure public safety.

Instead of calling 911 for Fourth of July noise reports, people are asked to submit the noise reports online. The reports will be reviewed during regular working hours.

Citizens could also submit noise reports via the 311 mobile apps or call 311 during business hours, 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday.

You can also text “fireworks” to 311898 to enter a fireworks complaint on the City’s website.

Residents should note that Minneapolis 311 is closed on July 4, but the mobile application can be used any time to make a report. City staff will review the complaint during regular business hours when offices open again and may follow up with the property owner the complaint references.

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