A air-raid siren (also known as an civil defense siren) is a siren used to provide an emergency population warning to the general population of approaching danger. It is sometimes sounded again to indicate the danger has passed.


Fact 1

Air-raid sirens first sounded the warning in London in September 1939. They became an almost daily part of life in the capital a year later during the height of the Blitz.


Fact 2

Air-raid sirens were initially designed to warn city dwellers of air raids in World War II, they were later used to warn of nuclear attack and natural destructive weather patterns such as tornadoes


Fact 3

War workers were instructed to ignore the first Air-raid siren signalling that enemy aircraft were approaching; they could only go to their shelters when the second siren was sounded that indicated that the Luftwaffe were immediately overhead


Fact 4

In Norway during peacetime, Air-raid sirens are tested twice a year, at 12 noon on the second Wednesday in January and June. The “important message – listen to the radio” signal is used in the tests.


Fact 5

32 000 civilians were killed, 87 000 were seriously injured and 2 million houses were destroyed in the German bombing campaign against the UK


Fact 6

One in every ten bombs that fell was a ‘dud’, but some bombs had a delayed action fuse, which meant they could go off at any time. It was impossible to tell which bombs were which. People had to be evacuated until the bombs had been made safe.


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