Today, Wednesday, May 2, the emergency outdoor warning sirens will sound as part of a functional test sequence completed twice yearly by MidStates Wireless Communications of Fargo. MidStates will visually inspect the siren components and operate the siren to ensure proper controller operation and siren volume. A complete inspection will take about thirty minutes per siren.
Emergency outdoor warning sirens are meant to warn people outdoors of a dangerous condition. While a siren may be heard within your home, you should never depend on the siren to be your only warning system. Devices such as a storm alert system activated by the National Weather Service are the preferred methods to be notified of severe weather. You may elect to subscribe to a local weather warning application for your smart phone or computer. You can also sign-up for the Code Red warning notification system by visiting the West Fargo Police Department web site at www.westfargopolice.com, or by calling the West Fargo Police Department at 701-433-5500 and requesting to be added.
West Fargo has 10 emergency outdoor warning sirens located throughout the city. The City Engineers select the siren locations to allow for overlapping areas of coverage between sirens. Overlapping coverage is necessary to compensate for the wind or other weather related conditions which may interfere with the sirens being heard. Overlapping also compensates for a siren which fails to operate properly.
West Fargo has for a number of years activated the sirens at twelve noon. Originally the noon and evening sounding of the siren served as a time piece for the community. The evening sounding was eventually dropped. The noon siren remains to allow for a daily validation of the system. The siren system is operated by radio control which reports on the siren's 'health' condition following the noon test. By testing the sirens daily any problem with the siren system can be identified early and the necessary repairs can be made. The Police Department also encourages the public to call in when a siren fails to operate properly.