A Closer Look at Emergency Vehicle Sirens

Emergency vehicle lights can be very effective at increasing awareness and moving traffic, but sirens take these warning capabilities one step further! Together, visual and audible warning tools are unmistakable to nearby drivers, so having both options can be a huge asset to your police vehicle, fire truck, or ambulance. But with so many options available, which siren should you choose? Your decision will depend on several factors, such as the type of vehicle you’re outfitting, your application, controller preference, local state laws, and more.

Types of Sirens

The two most common types of sirens are pneumatic and electronic. Pneumatic sirens (also known as mechanical sirens) are powered by pressurized air, while electronic sirens are powered by amplifiers and oscillators. Although pneumatic sirens are still in use today, electronic sirens have become increasingly popular in recent years. Electronic sirens often feature a PA system with a handheld microphone, radio rebroadcast functionality, volume control, and a built-in control panel. Electronic sirens are also incredibly compact, so they can easily be installed inside your emergency vehicle.

You might be wondering, if electronic sirens are so awesome, what are the benefits of pneumatic ones? Well, they’re heavy-duty and incredibly durable, so they’re perfect for exterior mounting. They also deliver a high-level sound with a rich tone that is ideal for a fire apparatus or ambulance.

Siren Tones: Which one should you use?

According to a study written by the U.S. Department of Transportation, the efficacy of a siren is dependent on several factors, such as frequency, directionality, background noise, and the driver’s ability to detect the siren sound. Distracted drivers may not hear your police siren or fire truck siren if it’s too far away, or if they do, they may not be able to tell which direction it’s coming from. That’s why sirens often feature more than one tone. Some tones may be better suited to suburban areas, big cities, or even at intersections. All of our electronic sirens feature several tones, including yelp, wail, and hi-lo. These tones are most often used in police vehicles, fire trucks, and ambulances, but the application varies from department to department.

Choosing the Best Siren for Your Emergency Vehicle

Here at Ultra Bright Lightz, we offer a wide range of police car sirens, fire truck sirens, and ambulance sirens. For an inexpensive, durable option with an easy-to-use control panel, try the UBL Rotary Siren. It features six essential siren tones, PA functionality, and volume control. For an all-in-one system, try the Feniex Typhoon Full-Function Siren. It features 23 siren tones, a built-in controller with 6 programmable, backlit buttons, a rotary dial, and a PA system. Need a powerful, high-impact system? Give the Feniex Storm Pro 100W Siren a try. Delivering 124 decibels of sound, the Storm Pro also features radio rebroadcast functionality, a PA system, and universal compatibility with non-Feniex controllers.

Who Can Use an Emergency Vehicle Siren?

Generally, only emergency vehicles are permitted to use sirens. But the definition of an emergency vehicle can vary slightly from state to state, so make sure to check your local state laws before you purchase a siren for your vehicle!

A siren can be an incredibly reliable and efficient warning tool. Ready to pick up your own police siren or fire truck siren? Check out the rest of our options here! Then, after you’ve selected a siren, be sure to pick up one of our 100W speakers to complete your audible warning system. And as always, if you’re not quite sure what to buy, give us a ring! One of our highly-qualified sales support specialists would be happy to help!