Sunday, December 20, 2009

Carson Siren and other Police Sirens - Proper Siren Use

There are so many times that I see and hear of other people "mis-using" their police siren or Carson Siren while operating in an emergency mode. I hear tales all the time of someone who leaves their siren in one tone, wail for example, the entire time while responding to the scene. I have heard of even randomly changing tones on the siren when no one is in sight. So what are you supposed to do? Here is a few of our suggestions on the proper use of your Carson Sirens that you purchase from

First if no one is in sight while responding - it's probably okay to leave it on one tone. The idea is to maximize warning power which in turn maximizes safety. If you live in a rural area, you may pass less traffic while on your way to the scene. Leaving your siren on wail in this situation is best recommended. You don't want to move your hands from the steering wheel to change tones and in this case you don't need to. Some of you say it's nice to show off your siren tones when you can - but this is not the time. An emergency exists and you need to focus on defensive driving tactics that allows you to respond to the scene, siren and all, safely.

But let's say you don't live in a very rural area and you have many traffic intersections or other locations where you are likely to encounter heavy traffic. What do you do then? How do you use your nice and shiny Carson Siren then? I have heard / seen many times an operator continually use the same siren tone during the entire length of their drive - wherever it may be. This is probably not the best idea either. Put your self in the other drivers seat. The one who you need to move to the right or simply get out the way. They have a radio on , a new car that's very well insulated, and the A/C on. You have your police siren on wail a nice long ramp up and a nice long ramp down. About one full cycle every 5-6 seconds depending on what model of siren you have. When the other driver has all of the other distractions on a slow tone like wail has an tendency to slowly become "normal" to the driver of the other vehicle. When you disrupt that "normalcy" by changing tones on your Carson Siren, then this will alert the driver to observe the surroundings and hopefully make an appropriate decision aka get out of the way.

It is typical to change the siren tone approximately 500-1000 feet prior to any intersection. Change from the wail to the yelp and then as you stop at the intersection (even if you have the right-a-way) change the intersection again and make eye contact with each driver to assure they see you. You never know what someone else is thinking.

Also a good rule of thumb when using your siren while responding to a call is leave the siren on 100% of the time. Even if you don't see vehicles. I personally have not done this and then have struck deer while responding. It's a good animal deterrent if you live in rural areas. Finally when you do see a vehicle or another hazard, that's a good reason to change the tone up. Switch to wail, yelp, or even the phaser tone.

To see a complete list the features of Carson Sirens - just go to our Sirens Page.

To hear the tones go to our Siren Sounds Page.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

To China Or Not To China - Outsourcing In Public Safety Equipment

Foreign made public safety equipment is a hot topic right now in the equipment business. Many companies are selling decent products that are in fact made oversees. Some of these products are high quality, innovative products that have a role in the field. Many companies offer foreign made police sirens, dash lights, siren speakers, and even LED grill lights. The problem is that some companies, particularly online, offer exact replicas of police sirens and the other product mentioned above, as the American companies who invented the original product.

This means that some companies get an American made product and copy it then sell it back in America at a cost sometimes 25% of the cost of the original. The good news about those products is that the price is so much lower. The bad news is that the quality on THESE sirens and other emergency warning equipment, is much less - FAR less - than the original.

Here is the way we feel about it...

Although some of our siren speakers are assembled outside of America, for the most part - all of our products are produced right here in the USA. That's something that we are proud of and if possible will continue to offer these products to you, our customer.

Most all of our Sound Off Signal line of dash lights, emergency warning equipment, mini light bars, headlight flashers. strobe kits, and other products are manufactured at the Sound Off Signal factory in Hudsonville, Michigan. We have visited the factory and know the hard working individuals who work there. They employ about 100 people and recently have obtained incentives to hire more people as they make huge American investments in their new line of LED lighting.

100% of our sirens we sell are made in Indianapolis, IN at the Carson Sirens factory. Those people are a close knit family who works hard to keep good ole' American quality up and prices low. Carson Sirens are the most rugged police siren, ems siren, and fire siren in the world PERIOD. We have that much confidence in them. Carson Sirens are simply the best siren in the world. When you look at the cost, the quality and the features of Carson Sirens - you can't deny that.

Globalization is here to stay and has been here for quite sometime. It is beneficial for some customers and for some business are the right fit. But here at The Public Safety Store - we think that we want to sell the highest quality products possible. That's what we will continue to do.

The next time you are looking for a lightbar ask yourself - "Why is this half the cost of a big name brand?" Brand name only cost a certain amount - anything more than that, and you are suffering quality. Simple as that. Don't put your safety at risk to save a few dollars. Do you think a skydiver buys his parachutes at the cheapest price possible? Don't put your safety at risk and buy the cheapest siren, lightbar, or public safety vest. It just doesn't make since.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Want to buy a gift for that new Firefighter?

It's crunch time - Christmas is just 12 days away at the time that I am writing this. You have those hard to get firefighters in your life and you have no idea what to get them.

No worries - we are here to help. There are certain gifts that every firefighter will love - we'll talk about Carson Sirens & Sound Off Signal and we'll talk about other great gifts as well.

The most popular gift for any firefighter has to be the Carson Sirens & Sound Off Signal Siren Combo Kit. You need to figure out if the person you are buying for has a siren on his or her vehicle. Just in case you don't know what a siren is, it's the thing that goes woo-woo! I know that sounds silly but readers not in the fire service simply might not know the terms. If the person you are buying for does not have one - The Combo Kit is a PERFECT gift. It's easy to add this to the vehicle and if they don't have one already - they will LOVE YOU!

Let's say this person has the siren and lights on his or her vehicle. What do you buy them now? There is one thing that every firefighter must have. Just as you ladies out there need a purse for your "things", a firefighter must have a similar item to haul his or her stuff. The Public Safety Store Deluxe Fire Gear Bag is a steal at only $39.99. We have plenty in stock - order it now before Christmas comes.

Finally if you don't need a Carson Siren. When it comes to safety on the scene of an emergency, there is nothing more valued than a Public Safety Fire Vest. It's not only practical, relitivly enexpensive, it's the law. Every police, fire, ems & even reporters are required by law to have a high visibility vest while on the scene of an emergency. So pick up a vest for your favorite loved one RIGHT NOW!

You do need to hurry, because Christmas is coming quick. We have plenty of other options as well. Carson Sirens is our hottest seller, but look at these as well as other gifts to keep your loved one warm & safe during these holiday season!

Of course if you have questions, call us at 1-800-646-1046 or just email


It's hard to believe that it's been over a year now since we launched our online store. As I have said before, we have been in business in one way or the other for years but have since went "mainstream" if you will since the launch of our we store. I can't express enough how much I appreciate the relationships that I have made throughout this year. I also can't anticipate all the friends I will meet through this wonderful business that I am so blessed to have created.

I know it's a very competitive market. Sound Off Signal LED lighting and Carson Sirens are one of the best manufacturers of emergency vehicle lights and sirens in the world. They have plenty of distributors around the United States - but for those of you who have chosen The Public Safety Store, all I can say is thank you. For those of you who are thinking about making a purchase from us, I assure you that you will not find our products at a better price, value and selection than right here at

So as this is our first blog, we will soon begin to have public safety industry news, advice, product gift advice and much more. So subscribe now!

From all of us to all of you - have a safe and very Merry Christmas!

Sean Lawson, Owner
Harold, Ky