huskyaviation
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Does Your Town Have A Fire Siren?

Thu Jan 17, 2008 7:09 pm

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?
 
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LTU932
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RE: Does Your Town Have A Fire Siren?

Thu Jan 17, 2008 7:18 pm

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
 
Fiatstilojtd
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RE: Does Your Town Have A Fire Siren?

Thu Jan 17, 2008 7:25 pm

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]
 
USAFHummer
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RE: Does Your Town Have A Fire Siren?

Thu Jan 17, 2008 7:29 pm

The township where I grew up, in the Philly suburbs, had one, but here in Boulder, we don't have one...
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bagpiper
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RE: Does Your Town Have A Fire Siren?

Thu Jan 17, 2008 7:30 pm

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:

 
RicciPettit
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RE: Does Your Town Have A Fire Siren?

Thu Jan 17, 2008 7:33 pm

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.
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AF340
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RE: Does Your Town Have A Fire Siren?

Thu Jan 17, 2008 7:36 pm

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.



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N1120A
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RE: Does Your Town Have A Fire Siren?

Thu Jan 17, 2008 7:47 pm



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
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huskyaviation
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RE: Does Your Town Have A Fire Siren?

Thu Jan 17, 2008 7:59 pm



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
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Does Your Town Have A Fire Siren?

Thu Jan 17, 2008 7:59 pm

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]
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airtrainer
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RE: Does Your Town Have A Fire Siren?

Thu Jan 17, 2008 8:21 pm

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
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PlymSpotter
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RE: Does Your Town Have A Fire Siren?

Thu Jan 17, 2008 8:23 pm



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!


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AsstChiefMark
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RE: Does Your Town Have A Fire Siren?

Thu Jan 17, 2008 8:24 pm

We shitcanned the fire siren over ten years ago. Too many people were confusing them with the tornado sirens.
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MD11Engineer
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RE: Does Your Town Have A Fire Siren?

Thu Jan 17, 2008 8:58 pm



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
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prosa
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RE: Does Your Town Have A Fire Siren?

Thu Jan 17, 2008 9:09 pm

My town does, to summon the volunteer fire department. And is it ever loud!
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desertjets
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RE: Does Your Town Have A Fire Siren?

Thu Jan 17, 2008 9:16 pm

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.
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Delta767300ER
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RE: Does Your Town Have A Fire Siren?

Thu Jan 17, 2008 9:24 pm

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.

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MaidensGator
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RE: Does Your Town Have A Fire Siren?

Thu Jan 17, 2008 9:25 pm



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...
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RobertNL070
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RE: Does Your Town Have A Fire Siren?

Thu Jan 17, 2008 9:32 pm



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.
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huskyaviation
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RE: Does Your Town Have A Fire Siren?

Thu Jan 17, 2008 9:39 pm

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]
 
mainMAN
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RE: Does Your Town Have A Fire Siren?

Thu Jan 17, 2008 9:50 pm



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!
 
srbmod
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RE: Does Your Town Have A Fire Siren?

Thu Jan 17, 2008 9:54 pm



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.).
 
RobertNL070
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RE: Does Your Town Have A Fire Siren?

Thu Jan 17, 2008 10:01 pm



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 
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huskyaviation
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RE: Does Your Town Have A Fire Siren?

Thu Jan 17, 2008 10:02 pm



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...
 
bagpiper
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RE: Does Your Town Have A Fire Siren?

Thu Jan 17, 2008 10:13 pm



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.
 
srbmod
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RE: Does Your Town Have A Fire Siren?

Thu Jan 17, 2008 10:16 pm



Quoting HuskyAviation (Reply 23):
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?

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/warnings so you can get accurate watches and warnings. If you don't program it with your local code, any watches or warnings in the area served by the local NWS office that are issued will activate your radio. They are quite loud (Much louder than a typical clock radio alarm), as I used to have one in my room (It died ironically as the result of a power surge caused by a severe storm.). It would wake me out of a dead sleep, and I can sleep through some pretty severe thunderstorms (I've slept through tropical storms and tornadoes).
 
IH8BY
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RE: Does Your Town Have A Fire Siren?

Thu Jan 17, 2008 10:25 pm

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 heard it) on a pillar beside a local pub. I always used to look at it and wonder what that strange barrel on top of a pillar was, and only realised a couple of years ago what it had been. I remember that there used to be security alerts - even in Oxford - related to the threat of Irish terrorism - my sister's school even had bomb practices now and again!

In South Oxfordshire, however, where there has been significant nuclear research for some time now, I believe that there's a comprehensive public warning system.
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Jalto27R
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RE: Does Your Town Have A Fire Siren?

Thu Jan 17, 2008 10:36 pm

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 complain about the noise, and how it isn't necessary now with pagers. Unfortunately the pagers can be unreliable at times, much worse then your cell phone's reception. The siren is a welcomed backup. Some of the town's go off at noon, and others like ours are turned off after a certain hour of the night.

Mike
 
AsstChiefMark
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RE: Does Your Town Have A Fire Siren?

Thu Jan 17, 2008 10:49 pm



Quoting MainMAN (Reply 20):
If you ever hear a WW2 air raid siren, it's a really haunting experience.

Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Damned MSP...Red tail...Red tail
 
srbmod
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RE: Does Your Town Have A Fire Siren?

Thu Jan 17, 2008 11:17 pm



Quoting RobertNL070 (Reply 22):
A "bit geekish"? Downright weird you mean

There are sites dedicated to civil defense sirens (Hey not everyone in the world is an airplane geek.)

http://www.civildefensemuseum.com/sirens.html
http://www.jmarcoz.com/sirens/sirenarchive.htm
http://www.victorysiren.com/x/main.htm
http://airraidsirens.com/
 
wrighbrothers
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RE: Does Your Town Have A Fire Siren?

Thu Jan 17, 2008 11:21 pm

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 remember when I was 14 me and a bunch of friends went up to where the sound was loudest and started shouting 'Auchtung Spitfire, Auchtung Spitfire, Schneller Schneller' haha, happy times

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VonRichtofen
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RE: Does Your Town Have A Fire Siren?

Fri Jan 18, 2008 12:24 am

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 tested (my dad lived a couple blocks from one).


Kris
 
itsjustme
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RE: Does Your Town Have A Fire Siren?

Fri Jan 18, 2008 12:43 am



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

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 every month at 1pm. I always wondered what would happen if the Russians (back then, it was the Russians we were afraid of) decided to attack us at 1pm on the first Saturday of the month.
 
MaidensGator
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RE: Does Your Town Have A Fire Siren?

Fri Jan 18, 2008 1:31 am



Quoting HuskyAviation (Reply 23):
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 Srbmod (Reply 25):
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/warnings so you can get accurate watches and warnings. If you don't program it with your local code, any watches or warnings in the area served by the local NWS office that are issued will activate your radio.

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 the whole county so otherwise it would go off for a storm 40 miles away. The county is roughly 40 miles square and I'm in the NW corner. The alarm's real loud and keeps going... The dogs starts raising hell when it goes off, so if it doesn't get my attention, she will....
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af773atmsp
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RE: Does Your Town Have A Fire Siren?

Fri Jan 18, 2008 1:53 am

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 homes that are right next to the sirens. The school that I went to when I was little had a tornado siren but I never heard it (we didn't even have a tornado drill).
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bok269
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RE: Does Your Town Have A Fire Siren?

Fri Jan 18, 2008 2:22 am

Yes we do. I don't know how frequently it is used. It used to be blaring all the time.
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seb146
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RE: Does Your Town Have A Fire Siren?

Fri Jan 18, 2008 3:41 am

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 through Saturday at noon it would go off. They would set it off when something bad was happening. During tornados or range fires, usualy. Nowdays, there are no sirens in PDT...
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jetblueguy22
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RE: Does Your Town Have A Fire Siren?

Fri Jan 18, 2008 8:24 pm

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.
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57AZ
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RE: Does Your Town Have A Fire Siren?

Sat Jan 19, 2008 5:27 am

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 power station. They were only for use to warn of an emergency at the plant and were tested once a month on the first Wednesday, unless there was bad weather present.
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WestJetYQQ
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RE: Does Your Town Have A Fire Siren?

Sat Jan 19, 2008 6:30 am

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 Center uses theirs effectively as a fire siren.
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adopim88
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RE: Does Your Town Have A Fire Siren?

Sat Jan 19, 2008 6:30 am

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 1pm and 9pm (i think that's the correct time).
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j_hallgren
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RE: Does Your Town Have A Fire Siren?

Sat Jan 19, 2008 6:46 am

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 that! They used them in my town to tell where the fire was so call firefighters (volunteers) would know where to go...here's the codes from the early 50's:



This has been hanging in the utility closet since then, and I'd scanned it for another web site.
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HAWK21M
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RE: Does Your Town Have A Fire Siren?

Sat Jan 19, 2008 4:49 pm

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  Smile

regds
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ajd1992
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Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2006 7:11 am

RE: Does Your Town Have A Fire Siren?

Sun Jan 20, 2008 1:14 am

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's pretty nasty stuff if it leaks out). Every Monday at 1pm, it's tested because it has been used before. Depending on which way the wind is blowing, i can just hear it from my high school - 6 miles away!
 
CPH-R
Posts: 6064
Joined: Thu May 03, 2001 5:19 pm

RE: Does Your Town Have A Fire Siren?

Sun Jan 20, 2008 1:28 am

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 services. It was put to use a few days ago, during a potential toxic fire in a town not too far away, and as a result, the local emergency hotline was flooded with calls from people who wanted to know what the sirens were for  Yeah sure
 
HT
Posts: 5857
Joined: Sat May 07, 2005 6:20 am

RE: Does Your Town Have A Fire Siren?

Sun Jan 20, 2008 7:12 pm



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

Yes. Have been in place for decades. Minimum since the Second World War.

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 9):
In my village and the neighbouring ones we still have fire sirens. We have a voluntary fire brigade,

Copy that.
Ours are of the motordriven pneumatic type highlighted in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siren_(noisemaker)

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 9):
Our sirens gets tested every saturday

Every Friday noon in the town I work in; every frist Saturday of the month in the village I live in.

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 13):
We had different signals, depending if it was peace time or war.

During peace:
3 signals (On-off-on-off-on) are used to alarm the firebrigade. (and people switchon their radio scanners in order to stay informed). Depending on winds I hear the signal of many surrounding villages.
6 signals are used to indicate a very serious incident (very rarely used) .
A Wha-wha sound is indicating to switch on the radio (never heard it apart from tests).

Tests of war-time signals were carried out regularly. They were announced in TV, radio and printed media days in advance. I still recall these tests quite vividly.
Until the early 1990's (= end of Cold War) posters were available explaining the different signals. Also all Telephone books had these explanations on one of the first pages.
-HT
Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
 
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LTU932
Posts: 13091
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2006 12:34 am

RE: Does Your Town Have A Fire Siren?

Sun Jan 20, 2008 7:17 pm



Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 9):
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.

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 corrected.
 
HT
Posts: 5857
Joined: Sat May 07, 2005 6:20 am

RE: Does Your Town Have A Fire Siren?

Mon Jan 21, 2008 7:07 pm



Quoting HT (Reply 45):
Have been in place for decades. Minimum since the Second World War.

Update: Before they were installed, the church's bell was rung to alarm in case of fire.
-HT
Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
 
redngold
Posts: 6673
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2000 12:26 pm

RE: Does Your Town Have A Fire Siren?

Mon Jan 21, 2008 9:02 pm

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 blocks away. (It's now a business of some sort, was a restaurant at one point.) We could always hear the engine sirens when there was a call.

We moved to Ossining, New York, a town of about 40,000, when I was 12 years old. I had heard volunteer siren calls before when visiting my relatives near Reading, PA, but it was only a regular up-and-down siren, not what I call the "blast horn." Ossining has both.
When there's a fire call in Ossining, the city hall siren goes up and within five seconds the blast code is signaled. The blast code may be echoed by other stations if there is need for more than one type of equipment. The blasts are each 1/2 second and 1 second apart. If there's one long blast, it's either a test, or if it's 7:00 AM during severe weather, it signals that Ossining UFSD has cancelled school for that day.

The blast codes were listed in our local telephone book. Usually the call is a general alarm, 1-1-2, but one day I clearly heard 2-5, which was the code for Overton Road, only a block away from my house. I told my parents and they didn't believe me, but I went outside and saw the smoke column. It was amazing to watch all of the volunteers' cars and trucks pour in from all directions, and also to hear the alarm go up a second time because the fire was so intense.
Up, up and away!
 
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Moose135
Posts: 2617
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 11:27 pm

RE: Does Your Town Have A Fire Siren?

Mon Jan 21, 2008 10:14 pm



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

Yes - here on Long Island, we are almost exclusively covered by volunteer fire departments, and most still use the siren. Some have restricted their usage at night or for certain calls (some don't use them for ambulance calls, for instance). They are are required (by state regulations) to be tested daily at Noon.
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