Hamilton, Ohio upgrades tornado sirens from the 1950s

New sirens will help save lives

HAMILTON, OHIO -- After nearly 60 years of service, Hamilton's aging tornado sirens are being replaced.

The city's eight sirens were installed in the 1950s and are in dire need of replacement, according to Hamilton officials.

Butler County's emergency management and Hamilton worked together to get the funding for the upgrade to the first line emergency notification in the city.

And what may seem like less, will actually be more, as the eight sirens are reduced to four.

Hamilton police Sgt. Ed Buns explains new siren technology and engineering developed over the past 6 decades is much more efficient than what the city has now.           

For one thing, he said, the new sirens are larger, louder, and have more reach. The old sirens, Buns said, have about a third of the noise producing power compared to the new ones.

"What they've (engineers) done is identified four areas of the city --- and these are the engineers with Hamilton Utilities -- that said these are the best locations to ensure the best coverage with the newest technology," he said.

Each siren also has several fail-safes to keep them reliable, such as battery backup systems that kicks in if the power goes out.

The Butler County Communication Center will also be notified if one of the sirens isn’t working.

Hamilton High School was the first location to get a new siren. The rest of the sirens should be installed within 60 days, Buns said.

The estimated cost of the siren replacement program is $50,000.

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