South Salisbury Fire Department activates new weather siren

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 20, 2021

SALISBURY – The South Salisbury Fire Department has updated its siren warning system to alert citizens of severe weather.

The siren, located at 3207 Old Concord Road, will now activate if a tornado warning is issued for the immediate area around the fire station.

When a tornado warning is issued, a signal will be sent from the Rowan County 911 Center to the fire department. New technology will decode the signal and activate the siren tone that will go through three cycles. Each will sound continuously for 30 seconds and then slowly wind down for 60 seconds. A total time of four-and-a-half minutes will be dedicated to the entire notification.

“Our siren warning system should be considered supplemental or secondary to an official weather notification as the sound can be significantly decreased by distance, wind direction, or natural land surfaces which may prevent someone from properly hearing the activation within the area,” Fire Chief Jason Burnett said. “We strongly encourage residents and businesses to install a weather radio, listen to local radio and television stations or follow a trusted weather platform on social media if severe weather is being forecasted in your immediate area.”

What is the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning? A tornado watch means conditions are favorable during the identified timeframe for the development of a tornado. A tornado warning means an actual tornado has been spotted or indicated by weather radar. Immediate action should be taken when a tornado warning has been issued.

Residents and businesses should be aware of a quarterly test at noon on the first Saturday, of January, April, July and October will be conducted to test the signal being received and the actual outside siren. The fire department will advertise this information as a reminder on their social media platforms each quarter prior to the siren test.

“I would like to personally thank our board of directors for their willingness to ensure our residents and businesses have another means to receive severe weather information. If it can notify just one person who may be outside working of a tornado warning and they can safely seek shelter, then our siren warning system has been successful,” Burnett said.