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EHS - Box 1914
164 Angell Street
Providence, RI 02912
Office: (401) 863-3353
Fax: (401) 863-7676


BrownSiren FAQ's

Brown University has completed the installation of an outdoor Emergency Siren Warning System on its main campus.  The system consists of three strategically placed sirens that will be used to warn the university community in the event of a life threatening emergency.

If a life threatening emergency is identified where a campus wide BrownSiren activation is necessary, the Department of Public Safety will activate the system. The activation will consist of an alert tone and a voice message regarding the nature of the emergency. Additionally the University will utilize Brown's web based notification system and the web site to provide further information via telephone, email, or text messaging.

What do the sirens sound like?

Listen to an audio clip for a simulation of the siren sound (mp3 file)

When are the sirens tested?

Sirens will be tested at least annually to ensure operational readiness. Test schedules will be announced in advance and posted on the About BrownSiren website.

What should I do during a system test?

You should continue your regular activities during a test. You do not need to take any special actions during a test.

What should I do if I hear the sirens?

Students, faculty, staff, and visitors who hear the siren should seek shelter by immediately going inside of a nearby building.  The system will be used to alert people to go indoors to shelter-in-place and seek additional information by doing the following:

  • Listen to the voice message following the siren alert tone
  • Carefully listen to and read all incoming messages via email, text message or telephone voice mail
  • Check the Brown University Web Home Page for updates
  • Limit non-emergency outgoing communications so as not to overburden the phone system

What type of emergencies do the sirens indicate?

Examples of emergencies where the BrownSiren would likely be activated include:

  • Hostile Intruder (Active Shooter)
  • Large Chemical Release near Campus
  • Natural Disasters (Tornado)

Where Can I hear the sirens?

Although the sirens will be loudest within the limits of campus, close proximity neighbors will be able to hear the warning system.

If you are indoors when the siren is activated, it is not expected that you will hear the sirens or the voice message that follows. If the siren system were to be used during an actual emergency, information would also be sent through the MIR3 InCampus Alert System and on the Brown homepage.

Who can I contact for more information?

If you have any questions or comments regarding Brown University's BrownSiren please contact or by telephone at 401-863-3353.