Alerting the public
An outdoors test of the general alarm is carried out once a month. If you hear the alarm at a time other than during a test, the reason is the threat of an emergency.
The siren that sounds on the first working Monday of the month at mid-day is a test of general alarm. The public warning system is on all the time and its operation is tested once a month. During the test, the alarm sounds for seven seconds. The test alarm is a continuous, even pitch sound.
When you hear the test alarm you do not need to do anything. Do not ring the general emergency number 112 with enquiries about it.
The general alarm is a rising and falling note that lasts for one minute. It is sounded by the public warning system. The alarm is to warn people outside of the threat of immediate danger.
Go inside at once. Close the doors, windows, air vents and ventilation. Switch on the radio and wait calmly for instructions. Avoid making telephone calls so the lines do not get clogged up. Do not go outdoors or leave the area until told to do so by the authorities in order not to run into danger while travelling.
The emergency alarm is sounded if, for example, there is a major fire which is producing a lot of poisonous smoke. It will be sounded if a vehicle or train carrying hazardous materials is involved in an accident which includes the risk of gas. The emergency alarm would sound in the event of an accident at a nuclear power plant. The alarm may be sounded in other threatening situations too.
In dangerous and emergency situations the authorities warn the public using official channels i.e. official emergency notifications. Official emergency notifications are used to let people know that they are in immediate danger. A notification explains what has happened and gives instructions on how to protect yourself.
Official emergency notifications are read out on all radio stations and broadcast on Yle, MTV3 and channel 4 text TV on page 112. Notifications are also shown during television programmes; the text scrolls across the upper edge of the screen.
You will also receive official emergency notifications that concern you on your smart phone if you install the 112 Suomi application. You will need to allow the application to follow your location when it is shut down.
The “danger over” signal is an even sound lasting one minute. The sound does not rise or fall but remains at constant pitch. When you hear the signal, you know that the threat or danger is over.