Remain calm – it’s just a test

Today at 12:00 pm the Danish air-raid siren system will enjoy its annual outing

Don’t, whatever you do, tell your friend that you heard about an impending war five minutes before the siren goes off (photo: Ben Franske)
May 5th, 2021 6:30 am| by Puck Wagemaker

Most likely that today at noon you will look up and wonder what that siren sound is for.

But remain calm, Denmark is not about to be invaded – it’s just a test.

Every year the Danish Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) tests the air-raid
siren system on the first Wednesday of May at noon.

This testing tradition started in 1994 and is now known as Store hyledag (big wailing day).

Sound of danger
The sirens produce a special sound signal to warn of a dangerous situation.

This signal consists of a sound that rises fast and then slows down gradually, which is  repeated four times in total, lasting 45 seconds.

Finally, one long steady tone is emitted lasting 45 seconds, which indicates ‘the danger’ has passed.

The sirens cover about 80 percent of Denmark and the police can use speakers to
reach areas that are not covered.

Business as usual
Even though today you get noticed by a loud noise, the system is tested every day.

The alarm system is tested every night without a sound – or, at least, at a frequency that is so high most of us are unable to hear it.

In the event of a major accident or disaster and the sirens go off for real, go inside and tune into DR or TV2. Remain indoors and don’t call 112, as it’s important not to overload the emergency response centre.

Read more about the alarm system and hear the sound here.

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