Wednesday, May 13, 2009


The Royal Commission into this year's terrible bush fires is well underway. Already some are squirming under questioning.

There has been mention of fire sirens in affected towns. The siren used to be used to call the voluntary fire brigade to the station. Its role was largely taken over by a pager system. Of course when the siren used to blast, everyone in town knew that the brigade were being called to a fire.

I understand that generally on day of the worst fires, sirens were not used.

Now, if there is a large fire approaching a town, wouldn't it be a good idea to turn the siren on to a permanent wail? Will it cause panic? Probably. Will it saves some lives though? Probably, in my opinion. Should a siren be broadcast over electronic media? Why not? Should an alert go out via land line and mobile phones? Of course.

Why can't a siren be used to alert people to an emergency situation?


  1. I can't remember where I read that the sirens were turned off a few years ago when people complained about the noise, said it woke the children.

    Like you said in another post, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Sometimes the old ways were best.

  2. I so agree with the use of the siren, and with the messaging and broadcasting to phones and over the radio..anything to alert people of danger.
    Another thing that needs to happen, is the up keep of fire trails, yes, maintenance of those... being able to ecscape safely via a few avenues is essential.
    I am sure more will come to light as the proceedings..proceed.

  3. "There has been mention of fire sirens in affected towns."

    I've heard of them. They're a bit like mermaids, only they hang around on street corners smoking fags.

  4. Jahteh, they used to test the sirens at inappropriate times.

    Cazzie, I reckon the fire trails will get plenty of discussion. People really do need two ways out, otherwise, just leave very early.

    Sadly Brian, most kids would not know what you siren is about.

  5. Commonsense says a constant siren would have been 110% better than the total lack of warning the people were given on the day.

  6. As in many areas Jayne, common sense is in short supply.

  7. You people in Victoria, especially in the areas where the fires were, are subject to one of the seven bad winds on the Sirocco winds...its the roaring forties...when they hit land the air pressure drops to buggery off the grid...and there is no doubt when you have the combination of extreme heat with wind, but hadd the extreme low air opressure you had in Victoria on that day but for days before...deadly serious bushfires were a certainty not a possible. They would have known this as the CSIRO publishes these grids...I ahve seen the grid on the days leading up to and on the day of the fires Black saturday...and it was really ominous. Any fire burning was going to become a disaster and people should have been warned as much as the day before to get out. You and't fight these fires. We never have the roaring 40's here in NSW...we have bushfires but nothing like you guys get. the roaring 40's also caused that disaster during the Sydney to Hobart yacht race some years back

  8. MC, you have given me a bit of knowledge to add to what I know. Our Premier Brumby came on tv the night before and told us it would be a bad day. It came to pass. And yes, you don't get the extremes of weather that we get in Victoria.


Before you change something, find out why it is the way it is in the first place - unknown.