Outdoor Warning Sirens

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Outdoor Warning Sirens

The City of Hurst operates eight (8) outdoor emergency warning sirens. These sirens are designed to warn people who are outdoors. A frequent complaint about these sirens is that citizens cannot hear them indoors. These sirens are not designed to be heard inside buildings and homes. The ambient noise inside homes and businesses from televisions, radios, and other devices plus the insulating qualities of the buildings themselves, make it unlikely that any outdoor system would be effective.

Reasons Outdoor Warning Sirens are Activated:

  1. The National Weather Service issues a Tornado Warning or Severe Thunderstorm Warning with the phrase "Destructive winds in excess of 70 mph (or higher) are likely with this storm" for your immediate area. A community existing in multiple counties should pay close attention to the warning area. 
  2. Trained spotters have reported a tornado in the jurisdiction, or in a neighboring jurisdiction that has the potential to affect your community. (Each community should determine satisfactory methods for verifying tornado activity reports).
  3. Reported hail of 1.25" in diameter or greater. (1 inch may be more appropriate for areas or events where large numbers of people are outdoors)
  4. Other emergency as directed by the community's elected officials. 

Other emergencies such as a hazardous material release could be a reason for the sirens to be sounded. If they are heard and the weather is clear, go indoors and turn on your television or radio for emergency information. 

In 1986, the City of Hurst installed Civil Defense Sirens in the City. There are sirens located throughout the City. The frequency or the loudness of the sirens are such that you can hear the siren when you are outside. 

2009 North Central Texas Outdoor Warning System Guidelines [PDF]

Testing

The Outdoor Warning Sirens are tested the first Wednesday of each month. At 1:00 pm on Wednesday the Hurst Fire Department sends personnel to standby at each location and report the proper functioning of each siren.

A frequently asked question: I was in my home and never did hear the siren going off, why?
These sirens are not designed to be heard inside buildings and homes. The ambient noise inside homes and businesses from televisions, radios, and other devices plus the insulating qualities of the buildings themselves, make it unlikely that any outdoor system would be effective.

Remember: The sirens are a warning to take cover immediately. If you are already inside, then you are protected. Once inside, you should use other sources such as radio or television to give you current and updated information. Unless you need to report an emergency, you should not call 9-1-1 to get information about the activation. You should use local radio and television to obtain current and updated information.