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Like every first Wednesday of February, the public alarm sirens are tested throughout Switzerland. This test will take place on Wednesday, 1 February 2023 between 13h30 and 15h30.

In Geneva, 116 fixed sirens will be tested, under the responsibility of the cantonal office of population protection and military affairs (OCPPAM). A water alarm intended for residents living downstream of the hydroelectric dams of Verbois and Chancy-Pougny will be tested during the same exercise. The water alarm signal consists of twelve low tones of 20 seconds each, separated by intervals of ten seconds.

In Vaud, 451 fixed and 206 mobile sirens, as well as telephone alarm systems for people living in isolated houses will be tested.

The annual tests allow to verify the proper functioning of the population alarm installations. Indeed, as for any device, failures can occur. These tests are also an opportunity to check the sound coverage of the territory by the sirens. Inside certain buildings with a large number of people, additional alarms are broadcast and instructions are given to the occupants.

The general alarm consists of a continuous oscillating sound broadcast for one minute by the fixed sirens and repeated after five minutes.

Reminder: good reflexes in case of alarm

This operation is a good opportunity to remind the population of the behaviors to adopt in case of a real general alarm (waving sound for one minute), except for testing dates:

  • listen to the radio;
  • close doors and windows;
  • inform the neighbors;
  • do not use the telephone (to avoid overloading the network);
  • in a vehicle: turn off the ventilation, roll up the windows and turn on the radio;
  • in the street: take shelter in the nearest house, business center, administration, or shop.

For the water alarm, which announces an immediate danger in the flood zone downstream of a dam, the population is invited to leave the threatened area immediately. The inhabitants of the affected areas are informed in advance about the water alarm and the possibilities to escape from the danger.

We would also like to draw your attention to the availability of the smartphone application Alertswiss. This application, once downloaded on the usual platforms, allows you to receive targeted information from the authorities, alert messages or even the general alarm accompanied by instructions on how to behave.

Geneva Information

Vaud Information