American Signal Corporation Warns of Shortsighted Approach as Municipalities Begin to Rely Exclusively on Mobile Device Alerts

Company says trend of removing sirens in favor of new tech could create safety hazards

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MILWAUKEE, Wisc. – American Signal Corporation (ASC), a Milwaukee-based company that develops a variety of sirens and emergency alert systems, recently responded to municipalities that have begun to abandon traditional sirens in favor of reliance on only email and mobile phone alerts.

ASC’s emphatic defense of traditional outdoor sirens comes on the heels of recent, misguided transitions away from tornado sirens. Counties are opting instead to solely use a mass notification technology that relies on cellphone, text, email and landline alerts. ASC believes the move is shortsighted and a mistake that could be hazardous for citizens.

“When municipalities abandon sirens in favor of new technology, they’re not taking into account the situations when cell phones are either unreliable or unavailable,” said Richard Roe, Executive Vice President at ASC. “The recent wildfires in California are one of the many relevant examples. Most SoCo Alert calls failed to connect in the first hours of the Sonoma County wildfires, leaving area residents in tremendous danger.”

In the wake of the fires, Sonoma County Fire and Emergency Services faced significant criticism for failure to notify residents in a timely manner. Residents had to first register with the county to have SoCo alerts sent to a mobile phone via call, text or email. For many residents, their first warnings of the fire came from their neighbors or their own visual confirmation. The fires killed 24 people and destroyed approximately 5,130 homes.

“We believe mass notification should be a layered approach,” said Roe. “We are proud siren manufacturers but are also innovative on the software side. Our CompuLert NEXGen system manages all layered approaches of mass notification, including sirens, notifications, texts and emails. The solution for municipalities should be not to abandon sirens, but to support them.”

For more information about American Signal Corporation and its siren products, visit www.americansignal.com.

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American Signal Corporation (ASC) is a leading designer and manufacturer of mass notification solutions, combining advanced engineering, innovative software and state-of-the-art equipment with an extraordinary record of longevity and expertise in the field. We aim to save lives every day.