Why you hear a warning siren this Wednesday (and why you don’t have to worry)

As with the first Wednesday of every month, the test siren must ring at 11:45 am or noon in France, depending on the region. In the context of the war at the European Gate, firefighters call for “pay attention”. BFMTV announces the function of this alert.

At the gates of the European Union, Ukraine has been attacked by Russian troops since Thursday, and several EU countries, including France, are strengthening their military presence in neighboring countries.Vladimir Putin reached a new milestone on Sunday and threatened to expand the conflict Put Russia’s nuclear force on “special vigilance”..

In this intense tension, the warning sirens that sound at 11:45 am or noon this Wednesday can sound different to the French ears, depending on the department. However, this is the same test signal that started on the first Wednesday of every month in France, which is part of the Population Alert Information System (SAIP), and firefighters claim on Twitter.

Warn of imminent danger

The system for sending warning signals to French residents is “first and foremost designed as a tool for responding to air threats,” the Ministry of Interior wrote. But today, “the network is still partially controlled by the Air Force (…) This tool is also used to warn residents of civil safety disasters of natural or technological origin.”

Therefore, this system is to be triggered in the event of an attack or serious incident and alert residents to ongoing or imminent dangers. The siren rang, for example, in September 2019 in Rouen and the surrounding municipalities during a fire at the Lubrizol plant.

When testing the siren system every month, it not only ensures that it is working properly, but it is also an “opportunity to remind users of the actions to take in the event of a real crisis,” Bousch recalls. To do. Rhone.

If “no special behavior is expected from the population during these monthly tests”, if a crisis occurs, when you hear this ring, “block carefully if possible, join the closed room without delay, preferably without windows” “Openings (slits, doors, ventilation, chimneys …)”, “stop air conditioning, heating, ventilation”, “listen to the radio” because the phone and internet network have stopped working.

How do I know if it’s a trial version?

The Ministry of Interior explains the motion signal of the “upper and lower modulated sound” of “only one cycle of 1 minute 41 seconds” that is activated at noon on Wednesday.

If it’s really dangerous, the sound is the same, but the signal is different. It consists of “three sequences of 1 minute 41 seconds separated by 5 second intervals”. On the other hand, “The end of the alert is announced with a continuous signal of 30 seconds.”

The meaning of various alert sirens and the attitude to be adopted when an actual alert occurs
Meaning of various alert sirens and attitude to adopt when an actual alert occurs © Préfecturedu Nord

The sector near the dam will provide another siren in case the structure breaks. This is a foghorn sound with a minimum duration of 2 minutes consisting of 2 seconds of sound emission separated by 3 seconds.

In addition to sirens, SAIP includes other alert vectors such as SMS, or “a service that broadcasts alerts to operators who relay this information by their own means (especially variable message signs and radio).” Specify Haute-Garonne.. Social media alerts are also planned.

Salome Vincendon

Salome Vincendon BFMTV journalist