Fire Truck Sirens About to Get Louder | Be Korea-savvy

Fire Truck Sirens About to Get Louder

(image: Korea Bizwire)

(image: Korea Bizwire)

SEOUL, Jul. 26 (Korea Bizwire)The sound of sirens that can be heard from fire trucks heading towards emergency situations is about to get louder.

The Korea National Fire Agency (KFNA) revealed yesterday that it was implementing new measures that would better allow drivers to recognize fire trucks in their vicinity.

At present, fire truck sirens are adjusted to be heard at around 90 dB 20 meters ahead of the vehicle.

But for drivers listening to the radio with the air-conditioning turned on, the siren may only come in at around 56 dB, which is about the same level as everyday noise.

The KFNA, in order to rectify the situation, has decided to raise the siren volume to 124 dB at a 1.5-meter range ahead, up from the previous 110 dB at a 1-meter range.

The new criteria to be applied to fire trucks produced moving forward will make sirens approximately 30 percent louder than they are currently.

An official at the KFNA said that the increase in volume may seem a bit loud for pedestrians, but asked for cooperation as the measure has been designed to ensure that drivers can hear sirens better.

In addition, the KFNA has decided to affix reflective tape to all fire trucks in order to minimize the risk of traffic accidents during emergency calls.

According to officials, a total of 2,344 traffic accidents were reported following emergency calls for fire trucks between 2013 and 2017. Of these, accidents caused by carelessness accounted for 59 percent (1,392 cases) of the total.

(image: Korea National Fire Agency)

(image: Korea National Fire Agency)

Current fire trucks have reflective tape affixed only to the rear of fire engines, but the new measure will ensure that the tape will cover 10 percent of the area on the front and sides of fire engines, and 20 percent of their rear.

Taking the form of a rhombus, the stripes will be of two colors, fluorescent green and red. The KFNA explained that trucks with the new reflector stripes will be 23 times more visible from 100 meters behind the vehicle than those without the stripes.

A survey by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the U.S. found that reflective tape was responsible for lowering traffic accidents by 21 percent at night and 16 percent during the day.

M. H. Lee (

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