Batavia, Ohio – The Clermont County Department of Public Safety Services is continuing to investigate what may have caused outdoor warning sirens to sound in Clermont County on Oct. 24 and Nov. 3. On both days, about half the sirens in the county went off at about the same time, 10:30 AM.
Sirens in Clermont County are used in very limited circumstances, including when:
- A tornado warning has been issued by the National Weather Service.
- A funnel cloud is reported by credible source.
- A chemical emergency has occurred and a shelter-in-place order has been issued.
Clermont County has 74 sirens. They are located throughout the county to ensure that residents can hear them when they are outside.
The sirens consist of reconditioned civil defense sirens, which receive a VHF signal for activation. The remainder are activated by a VHF/FSK signal (Frequency-Shift Keying) technology from the 1990s. Twice now the FSK sirens have been activated without human intervention. Investigations so far have not detected a cause for this random activation according to the County.
After the activation on Saturday, a manual cutoff circuit was placed between the transmitter and the phone lines to prevent the signal from reaching the sirens. The sirens can still be manually activated if the need arises, said John Kiskaden, Director of Public Safety Services.
American Signal, the manufacturer of the transmitter, is working with Clermont County to determine whether the transmitter is the issue and recommend solutions to resolve the random activation of the VHF/FSK sirens.
“We understand the frustrations and confusion of our residents and we will find out why this is happening and do our best to ensure it does not happen again,” said Ed Humphrey, President of the Board of County Commissioners.
“Inadvertent alarms are very concerning,” said Commissioner David Painter. “We will verify and reverify this system until we find out why this happened.”
“Although residents are understandably confused by these false alarms, they should not ignore sirens,” said Pam Haverkos, Director of the Clermont County Emergency Management Agency. “If the sirens sound, seek shelter, tune into local media outlets for additional information, and take the appropriate action.”
Residents are also encouraged to have multiple means of receiving weather-related alerts and warnings. For more information go to:https://ema.clermontcountyohio.gov/emergency-notification/
For more information on warning sirens, go to https://ema.clermontcountyohio.gov/outdoor-weather-sirens.