Fort Worth Hopes to Know More About Siren Malfunction Next Week

Contractor investigating

Fort Worth is working with the manufacturer and contractor for the city's siren system to determine why sirens inadvertently went off early Thursday morning.

At about 1:30 a.m., 153 sirens in Fort Worth went off when there was not an emergency.

Juan Ortiz, city emergency management coordinator, said city is trying to figure out what went wrong and how to prevent it from happening again.

"Obviously, yesterday was a unique situation," he said. "We actually had a complete system failure."

The system is about 10 years old but should last about 25 years, he said.

Within an hour of the malfunction, Fort Worth informed people signed up for its Nixle mobile messaging system that the sirens were "inadvertently activated."

The city hopes to have a better idea of what caused the malfunction next week.

"We have sent the data we have collected through our computers that day so they (the contractor) can look at the data and see what commands were sent out and why to give us an idea of why those commands were sent out to the sirens," Ortiz said.

Ortiz said it's important for people know the system is reliable or else they may ignore the sirens in a real emergency.

Right now, the system is in "sleep mode" so it doesn't go off again by mistake. In the meantime, the Emergency Management Division can manually activate the sirens if there is an emergency.

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