911 should only be used for emergency situations. An emergency is normally defined as any situation where injuries exist or the incident could be life-threatening and requires an immediate response from the police, fire department, or ambulance. If ever in doubt if you have an emergency or not, call 911 to be on the side of safety.
Dial 911 for:
- A heart attack or stroke
- A person unconscious or not breathing
- Imminent Child Birth
- A house or other structure fire
- Domestic violence
- Crimes in progress
- Car accidents
- Suspicious activities
- Anything that could result in injuries or death
- Boating Accidents and Drownings
DO NOT Dial 911:
- To ask if an earthquake occurred unless there are injuries
- To advise or ask about a power outage
- To report a broken fire hydrant
- When your water pipes burst
- To get a ride for a doctor's appointment
- For parking ticket information
- As a prank
A person may be charged with Disorderly Conduct of the Illinois Compiled Statutes when he knowingly calls the number "911" for the purpose of making or transmitting a false alarm or complaint and reporting information when, at the time the call or transmission is made, the person knows there is no reasonable ground for making the call or transmission and further knows that the call or transmission could result in the emergency response of any public safety agency. A first violation of this criminal code is a Class A Misdemeanor. A second violation is a Class 4 felony.
Prank calls and 911 hang up calls become time consuming for 911 and public-safety personnel. These calls usually result in delaying service to those who have real emergencies.