Aug 8, 2013

How loud are tornado sirens?

I have tried to find information on tornado alarms but can't seem to get the answer I'm looking for. I live on Venice Road in Sandusky, and sometimes during warnings, I'll hear two tornado alarms. What is the average range of standard alarms? Amber on Venice Road.

Erie County has 44 tornado sirens strategically placed around the area so as many people can hear them from outside their home.

Each siren has a 1-mile radius where people will likely hear the blaring noise when they're activated.

To see if you can hear one, listen for the sound at noon on the first day of each month. That's when county officials test the sirens.

The average tornado siren is 123 decibels — louder than a train whistle from 500 feet away of a jet engine from 100 feet away.

The Mailbag is a daily feature on Every weekday at noon, we will post one question-and-answer from a resident. To ask a question, send a letter to The Mailbag at 314 W. Market St., or e-mail Please include your first name and a location in the e-mail, e.g. “John from Decatur Street."


2cents's picture

It is all relative to where you are, the wind direction, if you are inside or outside, the construction of the inside place, the location inside the inside place and Bla, Bla, Bla. Just do what they say at noon : )


They're real loud.


We can't hear any at all where we live even at noon on the first day of the month.


We can't hear any either unless we are outside and the wind is blowing in the direction of my house from the siren


Now that's a thought provoking question.

Stop It

Just pick up Toto and hope for the best. :)


Ottawa County officials told me they aren't designed to be heard indoors. Guess they just want to warn the birds and stray cats.

he said she said

I lived downtown by St. Mary's school and at noon on the first, I never could hear them either even if I was standing outside because the churches in the area all play something at noon. Guess that was my Higher Power telling me to kiss my butt goodbye if there was a tornado!