The SMR Fire Siren

Fire Siren Status:

The SMR Fire Siren and the building.
Click on image for a larger version.

Why a siren?

The SMR covers a relatively large land area.  Due to its remote location, communications (via radio or telephone) is spotty at best.  Additionally, some areas have limited access in and out.

In the event of a fire, it may be necessary to evacuate a large area - especially if escape routes are in danger of being cut off.  The siren, being placed at this high location is usually audible over much of the SMR, including many of those areas with limited egress.
Inside the Fire Siren control building.  The battery bank is visible in the foreground while the control systems are mounted on the walls in the background.
Click on image for a larger version.

About the siren:

The siren is a DC-powered siren mounted atop a 50 foot wooden pole near the upper spring.  It is radio-controlled by the Sanpete County Sherrif's office, or it may be manually triggered by authorized personnel.  Because the siren is mainly battery-powered, it can be operated even in the event of a wide-area power failure.

When the siren is sounding, it has a wail with a 10 second repetition time and will sound for 5 minutes, with the time being extendable remotely as needed.

How loud is the siren?

It is loud enough that hearing protection is strongly recommended if you are within a few hundred yards of it when it sounds.  The manufacturer of the siren specifies a 4 mile range over a flat, urban area.

Because of the dense vegetation on the mountain - and the fact that it isn't flat - one can expect both enhancement and diminution of the siren's useful range, depending on your exact location and the surrounding terrain.

In the future, during testing, some sound level meter readings will be done to get a better idea as to how good the coverage may be.

The exact range of the siren depends on terrain and weather/wind conditions.  On a recent test, it was easily heard at the SMR clubhouse, in Fairview, and halfway to Mount Pleasant (along Mountainville Highway, near Round Hills.)  During another test, under different wind conditions, however, the sound did not cover as well.  When the monthly siren test is done, its operation is verified by listening for it at the SMR clubhouse.
A closer view of the siren.  Because it is in a high, exposed location, a lightning rod has been installed for protection.
(Note the woodpecker hole about halfway down the pole.)
Click on image for a larger version.

Testing the siren:

To be sure that the siren will work if/when it is needed, is tested monthly, usually on first Wednesday at about noon.  If you hear one of these tests, please feel free to report your observations as to how loud it was, whether or not it sounded for long enough, etc.

What do you do if you hear the siren?

If you hear the siren - especially if you hear it around noon on a Wednesday - keep in mind that it may actually be a test.

For specific procedures related to responding to a fire siren, please contact the SMR Fire committee for additional information.

Comment:  In 10/2005 the battery bank in the siren was replace with a set of new batteries.  Along with the monthly siren tests, additional testing of the batteries (charge voltage, load testing, etc.) is done to make certain that the siren will always work when it is called on to do so.  These batteries were replaced again in 2012.

Important note:

There are hazardous voltages present and exposed within the Fire Siren's control building.  Additionally, there are potential chemical burn/hazards present on or near the battery bank.  If, for any reason, you are in the building, extreme care must be taken to avoid serious personal injury or death.  If you are not familiar with the precautions to be taken in the presence of such hazards, please do not enter the building!
Page  update:  20120620
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