New warning device offers additional safety

Thursday, April 24th 2008, 6:15 pm
By: News 9

By Amy Lester, NEWS 9

Tornados that hit in the middle of the night are sometimes the most dangerous, but a new device could protect against possible devastation.

It's a different type of warning siren that hoops up to a resident's alarm system in their house.

"This is just something else that makes people feel secure when those big storms come," HESI Security spokesman Rick Spring said.

In case of a tornado warning, the device will sound a homeowner's home alarm.

"It warns them with a different siren so they know someone's not breaking into their home, that it's an actual tornado warning in their county." Spring said.

HESI security and Weather Affirmation created the device. When the National Weather Service issues a warning, a signal goes out to the alarm and triggers the siren.

"It's just like your wireless phone, works exactly the same way if your phone is working, the cell towers are up, we're delivering a message," Weather Affirmation spokesman John Wall said.

The development of the device was an innovative idea, which is supported by Oklahoma County Emergency.

OCE management director, David Barnes, suggests relying on multiple warning devices.

"We're all about trying to get information to the public in multiple methods in a timely manner," Barnes said.

Barnes advises also using weather radios, alarm systems and watching the T.V.

"We have more tornadic activity and severe weather than anywhere else in the world," Barnes said. "It's not a question of whether we're going to have those events; it's a question of when those events are going to occur."

The estimated cost to install the device is $150, plus around $8 a month to monitor.

"We tried to price it very reasonably. The concept being we hope it will save a few lives," Wall said.

HESI spent eight years developing the product and said it's the only one in the country with the device.