If you see blinking porch lights in Illinois you should probably call 9-1-1.

You might think that blinking porch lights might need to be fixed by an electrician but there could be another reason.

Close up, low angle view of an old fashioned lantern on a porch
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I haven't thought much of it but after finding out the significance of blue, red, green, and purple colored lights, I was stunned to find out the meaning behind blinking porch lights.


A blinking porch light is a nearly universal signal to passersby and emergency personnel alike that someone inside needs help.

The most common scenario where a blinking porch light might be used is to help an ambulance, fire truck, or other emergency vehicles find a specific house.

Turning the porch lights on and off can save valuable seconds that would otherwise be spent looking at house numbers.

Makes sense, considering how fast some emergency vehicles move.

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Just to be safe I believe you should contact emergency personnel as well, in case someone is inside the home and they can't get to a phone to call for assistance themselves.

There's a real life-saving occurrence because of someone who needed help and they resorted to flicking a porch light on and off to get attention.

Electric switch icon
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In 2012, The Independent Mail covered a story about a person who did such a thing.

An elderly woman suffered an injury and flicked an outdoor porch light switch on and off for hours trying to get help.

Finally, she managed to catch the eye of someone passing her house, they turned around, went in, saw the woman in distress, and called 911, saving her life.

Emergency and urgency, dialing 911 on smartphone screen. Shallow depth of field.
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Keep that in mind the next time you see porch lights going off and on. You might just save someone's life, or at the very least remind a homeowner to get their exterior lighting situation remedied.

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