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Siren false alerts likely cause identified

Siren false alerts likely cause identified

For immediate release: 10 December 2013

A software glitch caused by a faulty switch has been revealed as the likely cause of the false activation of the Eastern Bay of Plenty’s Civil Defence warning siren network last week.

Numerous tests of each stage of the warning system have been carried out by the managers of the system to replicate the error and find the root cause.

Kordia New Zealand CEO Scott Bartlett says the company regrets any inconvenience caused to residents and has given the issue its highest priority.

“The setup of one of the components allowed the system to false trigger. We have spoken to the manufacturer of the device and we are confident we have solved the glitch.”

Eastern Bay of Plenty Emergency Management Coordinator, Jim Tetlow, says that the activation has opened an important discussion about civil defence in the Eastern Bay.

“We regret any stress the false alarm may have caused. On the plus side, the sounding of the Civil Defence warning sirens means ‘turn on your radio’ and that message is timely.

“It is only by turning on your radio that you know timeframes, or threats or location or distance.”

“It is reassuring to know that many people do tune in. I hope that it was a timely reminder that we all do need to have a plan in place in case it is the real thing,” Mr Tetlow said.

Mr Tetlow also noted that Civil Defence is working to improve methods of communication.

“People can expect to hear more over the coming year about where the sirens are, what they sound like, what they are used for, and what to do when you hear them. The warning sirens are one tool in our kit to ensure that Eastern Bay of Plenty residents are as well prepared as possible for a real emergency,” Mr Tetlow said.


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