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Thread: Tornado Sirens

  1. #1
    Forum Member tfpd109's Avatar
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    Default Tornado Sirens

    Ok, I've done a search on here and the internet and had no luck. Is there (I'm sure there is) a battery backup system for tornado sirens. We opperate our sirens and last night when we went to sound the sirens the power went out about 20 seconds after sounding, causing the sirens to fail. We feel like this is something that needs our attention now. Any help would be great! Thanks!


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    I utilize a Whelen Siren System in which the sirens operate on two large deep cycle batteries, the 110v power supply to the sirens is only for the trickle charger. We found operating the sirens in 3min cycles prolong their life during extended events and prevents driver damage (last year a Tornado Warning lasted for 45min, sounding the sirens for the 45min resulted in 34 drivers being damaged in 11 sirens, hence the policy change). This is the only system I have managed, and I assumed that all systems operated similarly. If your sirens indeed work on electric versus battery, which is probably not the best design, contact the manufacturer and see if you can switch your system to battery power with trickle charge and cycle those sirens. Hope this helps.

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    Forum Member RLFD14's Avatar
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    You only have to be stupid once to be dead permanently
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    Two quick thoughts...

    1) I can't imagine running mechanical sirens off battery...especially for 45 minutes! I'm not familiar with "large area" electronic ones and their power requirements.

    2) I'd be curious what the long term costs are between batteries and an auto-start generator, especially for sirens at fixed facilities like fire station, town halls, schools that could have other benefits from the generator.

    You'd have to balance the higher upfront costs & maintenance for a piece of equipment that should last 30 years if cared for, v. replacing batteries every five years or so.

    (Although I think it died in committee, CT had a bill this year to require backup generators in all schools built after October 1; plus any school designated as a shelter. Great idea, but the bozo who wrote the bill didn't include any funding requirement to make it happen...)

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    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    You will NEVER find a practical battery backup system for mechanical sirens. If you only have one or two mechanical sirens, your only option for those is an auto-start generator. The power dropout and subsequent startup of the generator would cause a few second interuption in the siren being cranked up and you might have to re-trigger them depending on the controller and how it is powered. If the controller has a UPS backup, it can probably hang on while the generator is starting. You would need to incorperate regular maintinance and testing of the generators at least monthly.

    If the sirens are electronic speakers (Whelen and Federal Signal both make them), the manufacturer will have a battery system to work with them.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Forum Member tfpd109's Avatar
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    Thanks Everyone. You all have been pretty helpful. Thanks again!!!

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    MembersZone Subscriber jaybird210's Avatar
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    Our Village has a Federal Signal siren, and it runs exclusively on the batteries. The AC voltage is to condition the batteries only.

    What good is a siren that depends on a hard-wire power source?
    Omnis Cedo Domus

    www.hinckleyfd.org

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    Early Adopter cozmosis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by todd3603
    (last year a Tornado Warning lasted for 45min, sounding the sirens for the 45min resulted in 34 drivers being damaged in 11 sirens, hence the policy change).
    You run your sirens for the full duration of the warning? Wow.

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