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 www.ThePublicSafetyStore.com.
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.