Find Out Which Emergencies Merit a Call to 911
Not all emergencies merit a call to 911. Find out when to dial those keys.
Most people wouldn’t hesitate to dial 911 if they spotted a fire, but many other situations aren’t so clear. If a situation threatens life, health or property, call right away. Need some guidance beyond that? Check out these common situations:
- You spot a dead deer blocking the road. A large obstruction in the road could cause accidents and is an immediate danger to other drivers.
- You suspect a drunk driver is ahead of you. You may help prevent a crash if police can pull this person off the road.
- There’s a downed power line in your yard. Call 911 because there’s a danger of fire or injury to you and others.
- You just witnessed a robbery. Call 911 so police can catch the thieves before they strike again.
Call non-emergency personnel
- Your new puppy ran away. While your family may consider this an emergency, it’s not a public danger. Instead, call the police department’s non-emergency number. Find it in the phone book or call directory assistance (411).
- You want to know which roads are closed for the St. Patrick’s Day parade. This is not an emergency, and no one is at risk of being injured.
- There’s a vehicle blocking your driveway. This may seem like a crisis to you, but it’s not a public hazard. Call your local non-emergency police number.
Learn more about making 911 calls when it counts at 911.gov.