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# Citizen Request Management

Using Your CRM to Report Firework Use: A Safer Alternative

Not every concern about firework use should be reported by calling 911. Use your citizen request management tool to give residents an appropriate communication tool.

Authored by Civic Plus Logo


April 28, 2024
10 min

Independence Day brings backyard barbecues, flags on every front porch, and fireworks lighting the night sky. From Maine to California, 14,000 communities will celebrate by enjoying the events organized by their local parks. Unfortunately, many people purchase and set off fireworks in their communities, which puts themselves and their neighbors at risk. The 2023 Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) fireworks safety report says 10,200 people were treated in hospital emergency rooms for fireworks injuries in 2022. Most of these injuries, 73%, happened around the Fourth of July, which resulted in 11 deaths.

Safely and Anonymously Reporting Dangerous Fireworks Use with 311 and CRM

Concerned parents and neighbors want to celebrate Independence Day safely. They have a right to worry if their neighbors break the local fireworks rules. However, not every concern about firework use should be reported by calling 911. Residents should only call 911 when in-progress fireworks pose an immediate threat or danger to themselves or others. You must reserve 911 for serious threats to life and property. Consider if the fireworks pose an immediate danger to the neighborhood. Alternatively, communities with a citizen relationship management (CRM) solution, like SeeClickFix from CivicPlus®, can give residents a trackable and proper tool. They can use it to share concerns about firework use with local officials.

CRM tools like SeeClickFix allow neighbors to report illegal fireworks use anonymously. Anonymously reporting helps minimize tension between neighbors who must live together peacefully for years.

Communities such as Maple Valley, Mercer Island, Washington, and Albuquerque, New Mexico use SeeClickFix. It lets residents anonymously report firework safety concerns they observe. Local officials receive the submissions and can intervene before dangerous use becomes deadly.

Firework Safety Tips

For public works leaders, public safety teams, and communications officers who want to do all they can to minimize firework-related ER visits this summer: Share these safety tips with residents on all your communication channels.

  • Never allow young children to handle fireworks; even sparklers can be dangerous and lead to hundreds of emergency room visits each year.
  • Older children should only handle fireworks under close adult supervision.
  • Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Only light one device at a time and maintain a safe distance after lighting.
  • Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks.
  • Never hold lighted fireworks in your hands.
  • Never light fireworks indoors.
  • Wear protective eyewear if you are handling fireworks.
  • Do not use fireworks near flammable materials or close to homes.
  • Soak spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding.
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don’t go off or in case of fire.
  • Never use illegal fireworks.
  • The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to leave them to experts. Enjoy your community’s local fireworks display instead of lighting your own this year.

Read this blog for 11 more ideas for creative ways to use your 311 and citizen relationship management system to create positive civic experiences.

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Authored by Civic Plus Logo


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