Outdoor Warning System

What is the Outdoor Warning System?

The Outdoor Warning System is comprised of 25 sirens located throughout the city. The sirens are activated from the alarm office of the Irving Fire Department and are sounded to warn of severe weather. The Outdoor Warning system is designed to warn residents who are outside only. With today’s air-conditioned homes and vehicles they cannot be heard inside. Residents are encouraged to purchase a weather alert radio for indoor warning purposes.

What is a weather alert radio?

For more information on weather alert radios click here.

Where is the closest siren to my home or business?

View outdoor siren locations.

When is the system activated?

  • The National Weather Service issues a Tornado Warning or Severe Thunderstorm Warning with the phrase "Destructive winds in excess of 70 mph (or higher) are likely with this storm" for Irving.
  • Trained storm spotters have reported a tornado in the jurisdiction, or in a neighboring jurisdiction that has the potential to affect Irving.
  • Reported hail of 1.25” in diameter or greater.

How did we come up with these reasons to activate the sirens?

A regional group comprised of the 16 county Council of Governments region with the National Weather Service issued a document in February 2009. You can view the Regional Outdoor Warning System Guidelines here. The Outdoor Warning System is tested on the first Wednesday of every month at 1 p.m., weather permitting. Once activated, the sirens sound a steady tone and will rotate 360 degrees for at least three minutes. An all-clear message is not sounded.

What should I do when I hear the sirens?

You should immediately go inside. Once you are indoors, proceed to an interior room or hallway on the lowest floor of the building. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside.  Stay away from windows and doors. Get under something sturdy such as a table and if possible, cover yourself with a blanket or sleeping bag.  It is strongly recommended that residents designate a shelter area for their home in advance and practice going to that area as a family.

If you are in an office building during a severe storm, seek shelter on the lowest level of the building. You can also use the fire escapes or restrooms as shelter areas. Remember to designate your shelter area in advance; there will be less confusion during severe weather if the location is pre-determined.  Offices should hold tornado drills.