Types Of Sirens For Emergency Preparedness

Warning sirens are often high in the air and emit a very loud warning signal.

Sirens are used in many different emergency situations because they are a fast and loud way to alert many people at one time. Sirens warn about tornadoes, hurricanes, fires, chemical emergencies and other town-specific emergencies. Most towns will instruct residents on what to do when the siren is activated.

Air Horn

An air horn is smaller than most warning sirens. It is handheld and is normally used in large factories. This siren is the least dependable because it relies on a human to first notice the emergency, then activate the horn. This type of emergency warning system works for either an initial response or for situations where an electronic, more sophisticated alarm system will not reach.

Storm Sirens

Storm sirens are instituted in coastal towns or in tornado-prone states. This siren is often one long tone, continuing for up to one minute. The siren is usually perched atop a high tower or pole, and residents have been instructed in procedures to follow when the siren is activated. The siren is usually connected to an internal computer controlled by a central weather station. The employees of the weather station decide when to program the computer to set off the siren.

General Emergency Sirens

General emergency sirens are found in most towns across the United States. They are used to warn residents regarding natural emergencies, as well as to hail volunteer fire or emergency services. Volunteers in smaller towns will hear the siren and proceed to the appropriate emergency center to receive instructions. Many residents of small towns know to watch for rushing volunteer emergency personnel when the siren sounds.

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Siren Signals

Siren signals are used in different manners. Towns will assign patterns to the siren, and residents will be informed which patterns require which actions. For example, some towns will assign one siren blast to signify a house fire, while assigning five siren blasts to signify a town evacuation. The siren pattern is determined by town officials.