Cop Sirens — A Brief Overview
Cop sirens — loud and recognizable, sometimes shocking and downright terrifying, but always necessary. Together with emergency lights, police sirens are an indispensable part of every police officer’s equipment, especially those who work the highways and go on regular patrols. After all, car sirens are the surest way to alert others of your presence and signal your need for the right of way even before you are seen, after which point you can rely on lighting as well.
Sirens are not only a law enforcement tool: firefighters, emergency medical responders, and various kinds of volunteers never leave the garage without them. Today, though, we’re focusing on police sirens.
How They Came to Be
Nowadays, most police vehicles rely on electronic sirens, which are pretty much a plug-and-play kind of mechanism. You connect them to a power source, and voila — you’ve got a perfectly capable alert system. However, things were not the same in the earlier days of law enforcement. In fact, most police vehicles started fitting electronic sirens as late as the 1980s!
Back in the day, some emergency vehicles had to rely on — you won’t believe it — bells. In the 1970s, mechanical air horns became all the rage, and as we said, the following decade saw the rise of electronic sirens. Why? Well, electronic sirens can produce the same kind of sound while being more reliable.
Mechanical systems are, as you can guess by their name, rather complex. They take too long to produce, and they comprise many elements, some of which can easily break. Electronic solutions, on the other hand, give the driver no nightmares — you just press the button, and the systems are up. If something breaks, you simply replace the whole mechanism within minutes.
An electronic might be simpler compared to its more old-school predecessors, but it still comprises many elements. There are a lot of circuits, modulators, chips, wires, and oscillators working in unison to make the whole system function properly and offer the driver a bunch of options when it comes to sound type and pattern.
This variety of sound patterns allows the pedestrians and other participants in the traffic to know what to expect, too, that is, whether there’s a police car or some other type of vehicle approaching, say, an ambulance.
Why You Need Them and How They Work
In short, police sirens are all about alertness. You are probably well aware of that if you have any experience on the road. Law enforcement vehicles usually rely on tritone intervals (e.g., sequences of three tones) to draw attention, especially cruisers, but the sound type might depend on whether they are pursuing or pulling over a single vehicle or whether they’re managing crowds. For example, when they’re after a single vehicle, they’re more likely to rely on the so-called yelp sirens, which you’re probably familiar with if you’ve ever been pulled over.
Of course, many police vehicles sport additional emergency equipment. For example, you might be able to hear some kind of an air horn or warble siren.
Electronic sirens are reliable, easy to mount and use, and more efficient, but they also come with the benefit of being more easily adjustable to accommodate our needs on the road. Namely, electronic sirens allow for more range in terms of loudness.
The average police siren operates somewhere between 110 and 120 decibels, but the power is not only dependent on the mechanism itself — it also matters where you mount the siren and what kind of vehicle you’re driving. For example, the same kind of siren will appear to be more powerful if mounted on the front of a police force interceptor than a truck because interceptors are smaller and don’t absorb as much sound as a larger vehicle would.
Combining Light and Sound
A police siren and lights go together in our imagination, and for a good reason. After all, they work best when they’re in tandem, and one can never take precedence over the other. That is, a siren must always reinforce the flashing patterns and vice-versa, as it has been shown that employing more types of warning signals at the same time is more effective for drawing attention and maintaining order on the road.
Who Can Use Them
The answer to this one is not so straightforward. We can keep it short and say that specific rules and regulations will most likely depend on your area of residence. But, to make sure you’re not breaking any laws, contact your local authorities before mounting and using sirens on public roads.
However, you most likely won’t be allowed to use sirens freely. Such tools are reserved for officers of the law, and unless you have a badge or work for a private police force, you won’t get away with causing a commotion on the road by turning on sirens for no reason. Doing volunteer work in the case of an emergency might be the only exception.
Where to Buy Them
Where do you get a police siren for cars and other kinds of police vehicles? The answer is easy — SpeedTech Lights, your first and last stop whenever you need reliable sirens that won’t leave you hanging when you need them the most.
The SpeedTech Lights team understands how important a tool police sirens are and thus offers its customers a wide variety of sirens with lots of unique features. Ranging from smaller emergency warning solutions to more heavy-duty, 200-watt, dual-tone sirens combined with public address and air horn systems, SpeedTech Lights products will accommodate any driver.
Naturally, the SpeedTech Lights team deals in high-quality products by the most trustworthy manufacturers only and offers a five-year warranty on all police sirens and speakers to vouch for it. If you need something power-efficient, loud, and powerful that will show others that you mean business, look no further.
If you have any questions regarding installation or siren types, you are free to contact the SpeedTech Lights support team by leaving a message on the website.