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Alarm signals in Switzerland

What sirens are used to alert the population of dangers in Switzerland? There are two types of alarm signals: the general alert signal and the water alert signal.

Next siren test: 3 of February 2021

General alert signal

Stationary sirens are sounded with a regularly ascending and descending tone, lasting one minute and repeated once in the following five minutes. Behaviour to adopt when the general alert is raised:

  • Listen to the radio;
  • Follow instructions issued by the authorities;
  • Inform your neighbours.

Siren test

Water alert signal

People living downhill from dams are alerted by special sirens and the "water alert" alarm signal. The water alert signal consists of low continuous twenty-second tones at ten-second intervals. Behaviour to adopt when the water alert is sounded:

  • Leave the at-risk area immediately;
  • Follow instructions given on local information sheets.

Audio sample of the General Alert and Water Alert signals