Minneapolis asks residents to keep 911 open for emergencies during fireworks season

The city of Minneapolis on Wednesday urged residents to be safe with fireworks but to keep 911 lines open for emergencies by not using it to make noise complaints.

The city said fireworks can lead to a high volume of noise complaints for 911 call centers and slow down responses to actual emergencies. Instead of using 911, the city urged people to make noise reports online or through the 311 mobile app.

The following fireworks safety tips were also offered by the city:

  • Read, understand and follow the instructions on each device before 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 a bottle or can.

If you're unsure which fireworks are legal and which aren't:

  • 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. Besides being illegal, these types of fireworks are upsetting to veterans with PTSD and to pets, especially dogs.
  • It is illegal to use any fireworks on public property including roads, alleys, schools and parks.

You should still call 911 for emergency situations, including:

  • A person injured by fireworks.
  • Airborne fireworks landing on a building or wooded area posing a fire risk.
  • The size of a fireworks gathering and unruly behavior beginning to pose a threat to others.