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Does Your Town Have A Fire Siren?  
User currently offlineHuskyAviation From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 1153 posts, RR: 4
Posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 12114 times:

I have a stupid question that I only thought of as I was watching the snow fall outside in Washington today.

Until I reached college, I assumed that every place (with the exception of major cities) used fire sirens. I grew up in Glen Rock, a small town in Bergen County, NJ, where fire sirens were still used extensively up until at least 2001 (I'm only there for holidays and other short stays now, and I haven't paid attention as to whether they still use them or not).

Our fire sirens (there were 2 deployed in our town, I believe they have been in use since at least the early 1950s) went off when obviously there was a fire alarm (usually 4 to 5 15-second long blasts of the siren), but it also blew on snowy days at 645 and 715am to indicate a delayed opening for our town schools. If it blew again at 800am and 900am, then you knew school was cancelled for the day. I can still remember watching the clock and praying that the sirens would go off at 8am so I could stay out in the snow. Further, the sirens go off at exactly noon every day.

All of our neighbor towns had fire sirens as well, and they were all different, I guess so you could tell them apart. One town in particular (Hawthorne, I believe) had a very haunting siren that had a low, long, slow wail, kind of like a foghorn. It sounded sad and depressing, especially on snowy, quiet nights.

Does your town/location used to have or still have a fire siren?

54 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineLTU932 From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 13864 posts, RR: 50
Reply 1, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 12106 times:

We never had a fire siren, neither in HAM nor in SYQ. However, while there was some construction work going on near SYQ, they had this weird siren that came on everytime either a shift started or they called for a break. That siren sounded like one of those you'd hear if there's an airstrike.  Confused

User currently offlineFiatstilojtd From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 12096 times:

Here in Austria every single sh*thole village has its own Fire Siren. They test them every saturday at noon with a single 15 sec. Tone and I think nationwide once a year everywhere at the same time the whole procedure (fire 3x etc.)

[Edited 2008-01-17 11:28:47]

User currently offlineUSAFHummer From United States of America, joined May 2000, 10685 posts, RR: 52
Reply 3, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 12093 times:

The township where I grew up, in the Philly suburbs, had one, but here in Boulder, we don't have one...


Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
User currently offlineBagpiper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 12091 times:

we only have tornado sirens....

first sounding is for severe weather, second for tornado watch, then a constant wail for a tornado warning.

Also, they test them on the first wednesday every month at noon, on clear days. If it is raining, or threatening to rain, they hold off until the following week.

Looks like this:



User currently offlineRicciPettit From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 12087 times:

The area of Accrington I live in has a siren (apparently). When I moved in a flyer was posted through the door from a chemical plant a few miles away. They say if I hear this siren then I am to barricade myself indoors and close any vents. Scary stuff.

Never heard it though, not even a drill.


User currently offlineAF340 From Canada, joined Jul 2007, 2786 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 12077 times:

Nope we don't have them. We have the TV and radio (and now the internet) for school delays/closures mainly because they don't happen very often.



Liam spin 


User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26708 posts, RR: 75
Reply 7, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 12071 times:



Quoting HuskyAviation (Thread starter):
I can still remember watching the clock and praying that the sirens would go off at 8am so I could stay out in the snow.

And/or watch the Bob Barker Price is Right  Wink

Quoting HuskyAviation (Thread starter):

Does your town/location used to have or still have a fire siren?

Never heard one



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineHuskyAviation From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 1153 posts, RR: 4
Reply 8, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 12059 times:



Quoting RicciPettit (Reply 5):
The area of Accrington I live in has a siren (apparently). When I moved in a flyer was posted through the door from a chemical plant a few miles away. They say if I hear this siren then I am to barricade myself indoors and close any vents. Scary stuff.

Yikes, that is scary.

Quoting Bagpiper (Reply 4):
we only have tornado sirens....

I would imagine they are quite similar to what we had in NJ, obviously for different purposes. Must be off-putting when you hear that thing start wailing nonstop.

Quoting AF340 (Reply 6):
Nope we don't have them. We have the TV and radio (and now the internet) for school delays/closures mainly because they don't happen very often.

The school closings/delays are also posted on AM radio coming out of NYC, but the siren was always the easiest and fastest way to know. I didn't hear the snow siren as much as I'd like to either, since Glen Rock is only 2.7 sq mi., we didn't have school buses, and the schools stayed open more often than just about anywhere else in northern NJ. During the Blizzard of '96, when we got 37" of snow (by my measurement when I was forced to shovel that shit by my dad), we were out of school for 1 damn day, when other schools were out for a week or more.  Angry

Quoting N1120A (Reply 7):
And/or watch the Bob Barker Price is Right

Absolutely! After tiring out in the snow, it would be inside to have soup and watch TPIR. Those were the days  Smile


User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14127 posts, RR: 62
Reply 9, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 12059 times:

Quoting LTU932 (Reply 1):
We never had a fire siren, neither in HAM nor in SYQ. However, while there was some construction work going on near SYQ, they had this weird siren that came on everytime either a shift started or they called for a break. That siren sounded like one of those you'd hear if there's an airstrike. Confused

You might not have heard it, but Hamburg, as ALL German cities and villages defintely had fire sirens during cold war. They were connected to a federal warning system, run by the department of civil defense, which had several bunkered centrals (Warnaemter) in Germany (one was in the Deister hills west of Hannover, near Bad Nenndorf). These centrals were occupied 24/7 and could give regional or countrywide alerts in case of attacks. They were directly connected to the air raid warning department of the military. Hamburg additionally has a flood warning system around the Elbe river since the big flood of 1962 to warn the inhabitants of these areas in case of a massive surge coming up the Elbe.

Most cold war sirens have been removed (together with the warning infrastructure) after the end of cold war in the 1990s, but currently fire and disaster specialists regret it, because sirens are a reasonably cheap way of even waking up big numbers of sleeping people in case of a serious disaster.

In my village and the neighbouring ones we still have fire sirens. We have a voluntary fire brigade, of which most members live and work either in the village or, as farmers, in the surrounding fields or forests. They can be reached by the siren, even if they are out off mobile phone range.
Our sirens gets tested every saturday at 1 pm with three ten second blasts, very annoying if you work night shift, since in my case the fire house with the siren on top is only about 200 meters away from my house..



Jan

[Edited 2008-01-17 12:01:16]

[Edited 2008-01-17 12:06:15]

User currently offlineAirtrainer From Belgium, joined Aug 2003, 1559 posts, RR: 12
Reply 10, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 12045 times:

Funny thread ! Yes, the little town where I grew up in France has one... I will ask my mother (guess she will be surprised !) if it's still in use but I remember that there was a test each first wednesday of the month at 12:00


Life is short : eat dessert first !
User currently offlinePlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11686 posts, RR: 60
Reply 11, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 12041 times:



Quoting RicciPettit (Reply 5):
The area of Accrington I live in has a siren (apparently). When I moved in a flyer was posted through the door from a chemical plant a few miles away. They say if I hear this siren then I am to barricade myself indoors and close any vents. Scary stuff.

There is something a little like that in Plymouth, if you hear it go off for real then it means that there has been a nuclear accident/incident/attack in the military dockyards. Same procedure; stay indoors or make for shelter, close all vents and windows oh, and hide under the table... I'm sure that will help stop the radiation getting to you if it was something major!  Yeah sure Supposedly part of the plan also includes instantly shutting off the whole city and isolating it - not allowing any boat, plane, train, car, person - anything in or out. Luckily I live outside of this, so could still escape!


Dan Smile



...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
User currently offlineAsstChiefMark From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 12042 times:

We shitcanned the fire siren over ten years ago. Too many people were confusing them with the tornado sirens.

User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14127 posts, RR: 62
Reply 13, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 12025 times:



Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 11):

There is something a little like that in Plymouth, if you hear it go off for real then it means that there has been a nuclear accident/incident/attack in the military dockyards. Same procedure; stay indoors or make for shelter, close all vents and windows oh, and hide under the table... I'm sure that will help stop the radiation getting to you if it was something major! Yeah sure Supposedly part of the plan also includes instantly shutting off the whole city and isolating it - not allowing any boat, plane, train, car, person - anything in or out. Luckily I live outside of this, so could still escape!

We had different signals, depending if it was peace time or war.
In peace time the sirens were used for calling either the fire brigade or members of the disaster control units to their respective units.

In war they would have been used to signal air raids, NBC alerts or all clear.

Jan


User currently offlinePROSA From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 5644 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 12009 times:

My town does, to summon the volunteer fire department. And is it ever loud!


"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
User currently offlineDesertJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7801 posts, RR: 16
Reply 15, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 12001 times:

Where I used to live in upstate New York the town had sirens, but they are to be used in the event that one of the three nuke plants went boom. I think after that you were supposed to take your KCl pills and drive to the evac site.


Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
User currently offlineDelta767300ER From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2562 posts, RR: 11
Reply 16, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 11993 times:

I have seen some in downtown Dallas but I have never heard them. I generally think warning sirens are a good idea as long as they are not abused. I dont think it should be used to call the Fire Brigade to a call but I have no problem if it is used for a Tornado, Fire, Nuke/Chemical Spill, ect.

-Delta767300ER


User currently offlineMaidensGator From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 945 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 11993 times:



Quoting HuskyAviation (Thread starter):
I have a stupid question that I only thought of as I was watching the snow fall outside in Washington today.



Quoting HuskyAviation (Thread starter):
Does your town/location used to have or still have a fire siren?

When I grew up in that area there was a volunteer fire station about a block away and the siren would go off every time a fire was reported. As kids we'd ride our bikes up the street and watch the volunteers haul ass to the station and take off in the fire trucks. That alarm would sound for about 5 to 10 minutes sometimes.

Being as I lived in the D.C. suburbs during and after the Cuban Missile fiasco they used to test the air raid sirens pretty regularly. In elementary school we'd have the nuke drills where all the kids had to go out in the hall and kneel down. Pretty crazy.

Where I live now there are no big fire sirens or other alarms. A local fire station is right down the street and those guys just get in the truck and go...



The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers.
User currently offlineRobertNL070 From Netherlands, joined Sep 2003, 4533 posts, RR: 9
Reply 18, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 11980 times:



Quoting HuskyAviation (Thread starter):
Does your town/location used to have or still have a fire siren?

Because this country, the Netherlands, is rather vulnerable to flooding, we have sirens everywhere. They give me the creeps - they sound like the sirens you hear in films about the Second World War - and they are tested on every first Monday of the month at 12 noon.



Youth is a gift of nature. Age is a work of art.
User currently offlineHuskyAviation From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 1153 posts, RR: 4
Reply 19, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 11971 times:

Quoting MaidensGator (Reply 18):
When I grew up in that area there was a volunteer fire station about a block away and the siren would go off every time a fire was reported.

Ah, yes, I should have mentioned that our fire department is all-volunteer, hence the need for an alert system. In fact, the fire station still the original siren, which was basically a huge iron circle that someone banged as the siren (same concept as a triangle musical instrument, only much larger).

Quoting DesertJets (Reply 15):
Where I used to live in upstate New York the town had sirens, but they are to be used in the event that one of the three nuke plants went boom. I think after that you were supposed to take your KCl pills and drive to the evac site.

From what I've heard, I think all nuclear plants have a siren system within a 10-mile radius?

Quoting PROSA (Reply 14):
My town does, to summon the volunteer fire department. And is it ever loud!

One of Glen Rock's two sirens is mounted on top of one of the elementary schools, and holy crap, it is extremely loud!

I actually found a picture of it, mounted on top of 1 of our 3 elementary schools, look at the top of the short chimney and there she is:



[Edited 2008-01-17 13:51:37]

User currently offlineMainMAN From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2005, 2107 posts, RR: 5
Reply 20, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 11957 times:



Quoting HuskyAviation (Thread starter):
Does your town/location used to have or still have a fire siren?

I don't think any towns in the UK have a fire siren.

When I was a kid, there was an air-raid warning siren on top of a building about 3kms away, and every so often it would go off by mistake. I remember being terrified because I grew up with stories of V1 flying bombs and German bombing raids. If you ever hear a WW2 air raid siren, it's a really haunting experience.

Quoting RobertNL070 (Reply 19):
Because this country, the Netherlands, is rather vulnerable to flooding, we have sirens everywhere. They give me the creeps - they sound like the sirens you hear in films about the Second World War - and they are tested on every first Monday of the month at 12 noon.

This might sound a bit geekish, but I'd love to hear the Dutch monthly sirens!


User currently offlineSrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 11950 times:



Quoting Bagpiper (Reply 4):
we only have tornado sirens....

Same here, but only one town in the county where I live has them, the rest of the county doesn't have them (And honestly, the rest of the county needs them as in the last few years we've had some really nasty storms blow through and the only way folks knew what was going on would be if they had a battery-powered weather alert radio or a scanner.). We live a few miles northwest of the town that has some tornado sirens and can hear them fairly decently if we go outside. I feel sorry for folks that live in close proximity of those sirens, as they are quite loud (I was near one in Cobb County last year around the time of their monthly test, and that was a tad bit ear shattering.).


User currently offlineRobertNL070 From Netherlands, joined Sep 2003, 4533 posts, RR: 9
Reply 22, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 11942 times:



Quoting MainMAN (Reply 20):
This might sound a bit geekish, but I'd love to hear the Dutch monthly sirens!

A "bit geekish"? Downright weird you mean  biggrin 



Youth is a gift of nature. Age is a work of art.
User currently offlineHuskyAviation From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 1153 posts, RR: 4
Reply 23, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 11937 times:



Quoting Srbmod (Reply 21):
(And honestly, the rest of the county needs them as in the last few years we've had some really nasty storms blow through and the only way folks knew what was going on would be if they had a battery-powered weather alert radio or a scanner.).

In the absence of sirens, do the weather alert radios just turn themselves on when there is an alert? Are they loud enough to notice if you're on another floor of your house?

Quoting RobertNL070 (Reply 18):
Because this country, the Netherlands, is rather vulnerable to flooding, we have sirens everywhere. They give me the creeps - they sound like the sirens you hear in films about the Second World War - and they are tested on every first Monday of the month at 12 noon.

I wonder if they've been in use since WWII or even earlier...


User currently offlineBagpiper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 11928 times:



Quoting Srbmod (Reply 21):
Same here, but only one town in the county where I live has them, the rest of the county doesn't have them (And honestly, the rest of the county needs them as in the last few years we've had some really nasty storms blow through and the only way folks knew what was going on would be if they had a battery-powered weather alert radio or a scanner.). We live a few miles northwest of the town that has some tornado sirens and can hear them fairly decently if we go outside. I feel sorry for folks that live in close proximity of those sirens, as they are quite loud (I was near one in Cobb County last year around the time of their monthly test, and that was a tad bit ear shattering.).

I'm in Cobb County... about 1/2 to 2/3 of a mile from one, at the local high school. Loud when you're right next to it, but with a ton of wind and rain during a storm, it can be hard to hear sometimes.

As far as I know, we have them all over the county.


25 Srbmod : They automatically go off when the NWS issues a watch or warning. When you purchase one, you program the radio with the local code for watches/warnin
26 IH8BY : Not a fire siren, but until about 10 years ago there was an air raid siren (I believe it was still operational and occasionally tested, though I never
27 Jalto27R : Yes, my town and the surrounding towns have one. I'm a firefighter myself and as much as it is tradition, it is practical. A lot of the residents comp
29 Post contains links Srbmod : There are sites dedicated to civil defense sirens (Hey not everyone in the world is an airplane geek.) http://www.civildefensemuseum.com/sirens.html
30 Wrighbrothers : The town I grew up in has a WW2 Air Raid siren that still works and is tested every Tuesday I beleive. It's used (for real) to warn of a flood. I reme
31 VonRichtofen : When I was a kid, Calgary still had it's cold war air raid sirens posted around the city. They were pretty big, and loud as bloody hell when being tes
32 Itsjustme : Where I grew up, yes. The county also had "air raid sirens" (they eventually became "tornado sirens") and they would be tested the first Saturday of
33 MaidensGator : I have one like that. I've got it programmed just for the west end of my county which is where my house is located. The local office will warn for th
34 Af773atmsp : I always try to avoid tornado sirens on the first Wednesday of the month. Even if there is a tiny severe storm the sirens still blast. I've seen some
35 Bok269 : Yes we do. I don't know how frequently it is used. It used to be blaring all the time.
36 Seb146 : I grew up in PDT where we had two of them: one at the airport firestation and one on top of the (then) city hall on Main and Emigrant. Every Monday th
37 Jetblueguy22 : Mine has one. When I first moved there I didn't know we had one and it sounded like an air raid siren! I was freaking out. Blue
38 57AZ : When I was living in Chattanooga, Tennessee we didn't have public emergency or civil defense sirens. The only sirens we had were at the TVA nuclear po
39 WestJetYQQ : We have them in popular rivers that go off when the damn upstream is about to open the flood gates. Also the Albert Head Air Cadet Summer Training Cen
40 Adopim88 : In the town I live in now we just have the a siren that goes off at 10pm. In the town I lived in last year they had the same thing only it went off at
41 Post contains links and images J_Hallgren : When I was a kid growing up on Cape Cod in Chatham, a lot of the towns had them at fire stations and they went off at noon during the week...I miss th
42 Post contains images HAWK21M : We have some at various places in the city.Its actually an air Raid warning for old days.A test is normally done at 0900hrs daily regds MEL
43 Post contains links Ajd1992 : My town (Runcorn, due east of Liverpool Airport http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Runcorn ) has an Ineos Chlor plant (they make chlorine and whatnot, so it
44 Post contains images CPH-R : No fire sirens. We do however have warning sirens, which are used to advise people to go indoors, close all windows and listen to the emergency radio
45 Post contains links HT : Yes. Have been in place for decades. Minimum since the Second World War. Copy that. Ours are of the motordriven pneumatic type highlighted in http://
46 LTU932 : Interesting. I didn't move to Hamburg until 1989, so maybe back then I didn't hear anything of it. We weren't even told about them in school. I stand
47 HT : Update: Before they were installed, the church's bell was rung to alarm in case of fire. -HT
48 Redngold : I lived in a city of 45,000 near Cleveland, Ohio, where there was full-time fire service. Fire Station No. 2 was a 1920s-era building about four block
49 Moose135 : Yes - here on Long Island, we are almost exclusively covered by volunteer fire departments, and most still use the siren. Some have restricted their
50 Cory6188 : Hmmm.....it must be a common thing for Bergen County, as I'm from Hillsdale, and we've also had a town-wide set of fire sirens for as long as I can r
51 777ER : A fire siren is a fire siren and is used to alert the volunteer fire fighters of a callout, not for use to let you know schools cancelled etc, unless
52 Wolverine : The town I live in, has a fire Siren, it is mounted on the roof of the school. Maybe there is another, but I don't know. A few years ago, it was teste
53 Post contains links Redngold : Many school districts in volunteer fire areas use the sirens to notify school closings. Of course, fire calls take precedence. There was one time in
54 777ER : Thats the type of siren New Zealand's volunteer brigades use. Interesting that they are WW2 siren types. As a young person, you never really would kn
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