Siren control center defies large fire in Swedish fire station
In mid-October, the fire station in Hörby, Sweden, was ablaze. Everything was destroyed. Only the siren control center, part of the nationwide population warning system, was still operational. The consistent implementation of the strict customer specifications by Hörmann Warnsysteme during the construction of the siren control center ensured that neither the PC with the siren control software nor the cabinet with the electronics were damaged by fire, ash and heat.
On October 15, 2020, the fire station in the Swedish town of Hörby was robbed by flames. Only the offices were spared. However, heat and ashes had also severely damaged them. The surprise was all the greater when it was discovered that the PC located in the basement with the CCCS software to control the siren warning system was still working - as was the control cabinet with the MCE electronics, which acts as a communication gateway between the siren control software and the sirens of the Hörby municipality. Both are components of the nationwide Swedish population warning system.
"We have implemented the strict specifications of the Swedish Civil Defence Authority MSB for availability and operational safety, including EMP, exactly. This has now paid off," explains Harald Rickmeyer, responsible for the project at Hörmann Warnsysteme. The guidelines stipulated that all components for the siren warning system must also be able to withstand high-energy electromagnetic radiation, such as that generated by nuclear explosions. For this reason, the electronics for controlling the sirens are located in a specially developed control cabinet that provides protection not only against NEMP/HEMP, but also against ash, dust and mechanical damage. Special filters developed by Hörmann Warnsysteme in the housing around the electronics known as MCE gateway protect all communication and control lines. In addition, the control cabinet contains its own uninterruptible power supply (UPS) to keep the system working, even in the event of a power failure.
In 1998, Sweden began modernizing its nationwide mass warning and notification siren system. The state-of-the-art system called M95, which consists of approx. 176 siren control centers and 4380 sirens, was planned and implemented by Hörmann Warnsysteme. Since then, Hörmann Warnsysteme in cooperation with the Swedish Civil Defence Agency has continuously developed the system and upgraded it to new technologies such as digital electronic sirens and communication channels such as TETRA.