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Placer County Sheriff's Office reminds community of distinct evacuation siren

The hi-lo siren will only be used when its time to evacuate, the sheriff's office said.

PLACER COUNTY, Calif — As wildfire season continues, the Placer County Sheriff’s Office wants to remind everyone of a distinct siren they’ll be using in case evacuation is the last option for your safety.

It’s called a Hi-Lo siren, a European-style siren that sounds different from what you may be used to hearing.

The Placer County Sheriff’s Office says it’s only used in an area that is in danger because of a fire, flood, chemical, spill, or any other disaster that warrants an evacuation.

“You start hearing that siren, that should be an alert that there is danger in the immediate area and you need to start making preparations to evacuate,” Sgt. Jason Davis.

The sheriff’s office added the siren in 2019. They say the siren was used in June when control was lost of a permitted burn in the Granite Bay area. No homes were damaged, but the siren was used to let people know they needed to evacuate. 

The sheriff’s office says it could be the only warning people might get to evacuate when going door-to-door isn’t an option anymore.

“Before we got the Hi-Lo siren, we would come in with our standard siren which everybody hears every day. There’s nothing unique about it and people oftentimes tune those sirens out,” Davis said. “So not only in addition to our sirens being ignored, for the most part, we would have to go door-to-door.”

Placer County Sheriff’s deputies aren’t the only ones in the state who have Hi-Lo sirens ready to use. Butte, Lake, Nevada, Napa, and Sonoma counties have them ready to go as well.

In addition to being familiar with the siren’s sound, you’re also encouraged to register your phone number to get alerts and emergency information at placeralerts.org.

There are also similar registries for Sacramento and Yolo County. Click here to find out more.

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