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You often see lights in and around homes in Minnesota, but if you see blinking porch lights, here's why you'll likely want to call for help.

I have to admit I was today's days old when I found out that the phenomenon of blinking porch lights was actually a thing. But apparently, it is. And here's why calling 911 might be a good idea if you see porch lights blinking on and off here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

Thanks to LED and solar battery technology, many Minnesotans have various decorative lights that automatically come at dusk in and around their homes and yards. Colored porch lights are also a thing, and have come to signify support for various causes, as well.

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For instance, HomeScopes.com says a green porch light could mean the residents of the house support military veterans. A blue porch light could mean the homeowners support local law enforcement. A purple light often signifies support for awareness of domestic violence.

READ MORE: Can You Legally Flash Your Headlights at Another Car in MN?

But if you see porch lights that are blinking, it could mean there's been a technical malfunction with the light and/or wiring. But it could also mean the homeowner is in trouble and needs assistance!

According to the household site, Storables.com, here's what a flashing porch light could mean:

A flashing porch light can convey a variety of messages, depending on the pattern and duration of the flashes. There are several common interpretations associated with flashing porch lights. In times of emergency, a flashing porch light can serve as a distress signal. This may include incidents such as a medical emergency or a fire.

Storables goes on to say that by alerting neighbors and passersby of the urgency, a flashing porch light can help draw attention and prompt a swift response. It can also help first responders hone in on just which house may have called for help.

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And, apparently, it works. The Independent Mail told the story of a woman who did such a thing back in 2012. An elderly woman suffered an injury and flicked an outdoor porch light switch on and off for hours trying to get help. That managed to catch the eye of someone passing her house who went in, saw the woman in distress, called 911, and helped save her life.

So, of course, you don't want to just call 911 every time you see a flashing light on a home-- especially around the holidays, right? But it could mean that someone inside is in distress and could use help.

Speaking of help, keep scrolling for some useful tips on hoe to protect yourself from some of the biggest scams out there today!

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