May 17, 2012

Noise Pollution and Our Ineffective Alarm System

Sent: Thursday, May 17, 2012 8:05 PM
To: ''
Subject: Just noise pollution?


You probably can't do anything about this, but if anyone in the city has a voice in this stuff I hoped it might be you. I saw a news program the other day that talked about the fact that our emergency warning systems have been found ineffective. This is everywhere, not just Little Canada. People don't pay attention to the alarms and if we ever have a real natural catestrophe that will be a big reason why more lives will be lost than necessary.

In Little Canada, the alarm system appears to be completely abused by the city. For some idiotic reason, it wails at noon and 6PM everyday just to contribute something to the town's already excessive noise pollution. We all have clocks, cell phones, watches, and radio/televisions so I'm pretty sure we can figure out when to eat lunch and dinner without an alarm to "warn" us of the time. The alarm fires off when the volunteer fire department is notified of some emergency, although I imagine those volunteers all have cell phones and get the same message via phone and the rest of us have no need to hear about the alarm unless it's our house burning.

That leaves the only time the alarm ought to be sounding as a rarity; severe storm and tornado warnings. With the multitude of useless "warnings" going off on regular and spasmodic intervals, I suspect that fewer than 5% of the city's residents know or care about the difference in siren patterns and tones and most of us probably ignore it all as we try to ignore the constant drone of the freeway and the usual Harley noise-making crowd who parade through our streets announcing their presence. I would not be surprised if the city could hold some liability for trivializing the alarm system if it is ignored at the cost of lives when a real emergency exists. At a minimum, it would be proper for the city to review current obsolute policy regarding the regular sounding of this silly system. At best, the whole system should be updated and the city should make a concerted effort to inform the residents when the damn thing is not to be ignored.

Tom Day