skip to main content
fireworks generic
Enlarge Icon

Don't call 911 to report fireworks unless it's a true emergency

King County and Pierce County officials are have a special Fourth of July message: Don't call 911 to report illegal uses of fireworks.

Only call 911 in the event of injury, fire, or emergency.

For the first time, fireworks are now banned in unincorporated parts of King County. They've already been banned in Seattle.

Seattle's 911 call center typically gets about 2,000 calls a day. On July 4th alone, calls jump by about 50%. That's according to Bill Schrier, a strategic advisor for Seattle's 911 call center.

Schrier says they want to keep 911 call lines clear for serious emergencies as people inappropriately use alcohol, drugs, and drive under the influence.

"Don’t call 911 to report illegal fireworks unless it’s an emergency," said Schrier. "If its just illegal fireworks going off in the neighborhood that's not an emergency that's threatening life and property and people should not call 911".

Schrier provided some examples of when you should pick up the phone regarding fireworks.

“A firework that comes down on top of a house, or a roof, ignites bushes, fireworks that injure a person, ignites clothes on fire, all of those things threaten life and or property."

Report illegal fireworks

You can also report illegal uses of fireworks in King County and Pierce County online.

If you want to report illegal fire works in King County, you can report them online here. Or you can call King County's non-emergency line: 206-296-3311.

If you live in Pierce County's Fife, Orting, Roy, Sumner, Tacoma, or University Place, you can report illegal fireworks here. Or call 253-287-4455.

King County is emphasizing community education about the new rules. Violators will get a verbal warning and will be included on one's record. If violations continue one will eventually get a ticket, according to a news release from King County.

More updates in KUOW's Today So Far Blog!