DEM manages the 31 outdoor warning sirens that are located in parks throughout Fayette County. These sirens serve to warn citizens who are outdoors that there is a hazardous weather watch or warning, a hazardous chemical spill, or a Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program incident. The map below shows the locations of these sirens.
If you are near a siren and hear it go off, you should seek shelter indoors immediately. Many of Lexington’s parks and golf courses have designated storm shelters. If the siren gives verbal instructions, follow those directions!
DEM tests our sirens on the first Wednesday of every month at 10:00 a.m. except when an actual weather incident is likely.
Some siren tests are “quiet tests,” which means the sirens are tested without any wail or announcement.
For a severe thunderstorm warning, tornado watch, or chemical emergency, sirens will be activated between 6:00 a.m. and midnight.
For a tornado warning, sirens will be activated at any time of the day or night.
The wailing sound of an outdoor warning siren is much like that of a police car, fire truck, or other emergency vehicle, only much, much louder. A siren’s alert tone can be heard outdoors about half a mile away from the siren site, depending on weather conditions. The siren’s public address system can be heard for approximately a quarter-mile from the siren site – again, depending on weather conditions.
Outdoor warning sirens are intended to warn people who are outdoors. They are not designed to notify people who are indoors. A siren loud enough for you to hear inside your house or workplace would be dangerously loud for nearby outdoor listeners. For indoor alerting, we strongly recommend you have a NOAA all-hazards weather radio.
Each siren can play different alert tones for different hazards, and can also be used as a public address system. Depending on the situation, you may hear:
Westminster Chime (followed by verbal instructions) – used for:
Steady Tone – used for:
Wail Tone (followed by verbal instructions) – used for:
- Shelter in place
- All clear
Once you have taken shelter or followed the instructions from the siren, monitor local radio or television or your NOAA weather radio for additional emergency information. DEM also will distribute information about the emergency on the LFUCG’s low-power radio station at 1620 AM.
For further questions or to report a siren issue, contact Tim Brandewie, DEM’s Response Manager.