UK government experiment means sirens will sound on all phones

Siren on the phone

The “dad-like” tone is eventually used for weather-related emergencies (Picture: Getty Images)

A siren-like emergency alert will be sent to phones across the UK next month in a test of a new public alert system.

The loud warning beep and vibration will appear on home screens on April 23 – St. George’s Day – and won’t stop until people confirm it.

The system is intended to be used in life-threatening situations such as floods and forest fires and has already been deployed in countries such as the USA, Canada, the Netherlands and Japan.

It will focus on the worst weather events and send a message to 90% of mobile users in the relevant area in case of an emergency.

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Oliver Dowden, said: “We are strengthening our national resilience with a new emergency alert system to deal with a wide range of threats – from floods to wildfires.

“It will revolutionize our ability to warn and inform people who are in imminent danger and help us protect people.

“As we’ve seen in the US and elsewhere, a phone’s buzz can save lives.”

People who don’t want to receive the notifications can opt out in their device settings.

Extreme closeup of a female finger scrolling on the smartphone screen in a dark environment with bokeh lights in the background.

It’s hoped people will keep the siren sound on their phones for the future (Picture: Getty Images)

But officials are hoping the messages’ life-saving potential means users will keep them on.

Warnings always come only from government or emergency services and include details of affected areas.

Safe, free to receive and one-sided, the Cabinet-approved alerts insist they will not reveal anyone’s location or collect personal information.

Trials of the service have already taken place in Reading and East Suffolk.

It is hoped that the system could eventually be used to issue alerts about terrorist incidents.

But officials said they need more information on how the UK’s warning system works before that can happen.

National Fire Chiefs Council Chairman Mark Hardingham said: “Together with all the Fire and Rescue Services in the country, I look forward to having emergency alerts available to help us do our jobs and help communities during emergencies.

“We have seen this type of system in action elsewhere in the world and look forward to having the facility here in the UK – through working with fire services and partners we want this system to help us help you be as safe as possible.” be as you can when a crisis hits.’

Caroline Douglas, Executive Director for Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management at the Environment Agency, said: “It is really important to be able to provide timely and accurate alerts when incidents occur, to help people take action to protect themselves, their families and theirs Neighbors.’

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Justin Scaccy

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