Alarm Sounds

The necessity for alarm sounds to inform or warn members of a society is not a recent invention. Even in the Stone Age, drums and animal horns were used to spread messages far and wide. After the discovery of various metals, people began to manufacture signal horns for military use. Instruments like trumpets and trombones are derived from these early horns. As we can see, systems and sirens to create alarm sounds have been part of our society since the dawn of mankind.
The use of bells to create alarm sounds goes back all the way to the Egyptians and the time of the Pharaos. These so-called plate bells were hung from shelves so that their distinctive sound could be heard from far away. This technique is still being used today, except that plate bells and forged bells have been replaced with cast bells. For many centuries, storm bells or alarm bells were used as an alarm sounds to warn village and city dwellers from fires and attacking barbarians.
After the Industrialisation, the ambient noise of a mechanised society necessitated a new kind of alarm system. The first sirens were steam-powered pipes used on steamships, which could create loud enough alarm sounds because traditional bells were no longer loud enough to overpower the noise of the engines.

WWII Air Raid Alarm Sounds

Thanks to electricity and the invention of the motorised siren, this type of siren was widely adopted before and during the Second World War. The undulating, howling sound of the siren was a highly characteristic alarm sound, which made it an efficient warning signal ahead of air raids. It also became synonymous with the terror of falling bombs -- death dealt from the skies. An entire generation was scarred forever by the sound of the motorised siren.

Nuclear Alarm Sounds

During the Cold War, sirens were no longer used to warn of air raids. Instead, they became alarm systems for possible nuclear attacks. In Germany, the term 'alert' replaced the previous 'air raid warning'. A shortened, one-minute siren alarm sounds was devised to alert citizens of a possible attack.
In post-WWII England, alarm sounds were assigned a new meaning: alerting people to the threat of a nuclear attack. They were also used to warn people of floods and freak weather, as well as escaped prisoners or highly dangerous mental-health patients.

Alarm Sounds and Sound Effects

Alarm Sounds and sound effects at Avosound - Alarm sound are available in a multitude of variations: alarm sounds, siren alarm sounds, fire alarm sounds, fire drill, emergency alarm sounds, siren wail and howling alarm sounds, emergency alarm from fire service and police sirens.
In the Second World War, loud and widespread siren wails were generated as alarm sounds with pneumatic, electrical or manually operated mechanical alarm sound systems to warn against air raid. These mechanical alarm sirens are still widely used today for civil protection in many countries. There were different sirens. Air raid alarm sounds are characterized by howling sirens coming in and out. Water alarm due to short, loud alarm blasts. Civil defense alarm sounds are available for earthquakes and disaster alarms, which one hopefully never has to hear. Also a rather unpleasant case of alarm is the ABC alarm. The alarm sound of the ABC alarm is like the air raid alarm a rising and declining wailing siren which is repeated.

Siren Wails and Alarm Bells

Alarm sounds can be triggered by an alarm bell, a mechanical alarm siren or via an electric siren. Alarm systems of cars or alarm systems in case of burglaries usually use electric sirens with electric beeps or hooters to create loud alarm signals. Other alarm sound systems are produced by the company Klaxon, which have been used for many years in industrial plants. The well-known Klaxon alarm sound is also a typical sound on submarines, ship sirens or aircraft carriers. Also a user of Klaxon Alarm sirens is the empire. A long long time ago, the empire used the Klaxon horn and sirens as alarm sounds on the death star.

Further variants of acoustic alarms and signal tones can be found in emergency. Fire alarm sounds, fire alarm sirens, police sirens or sirens from ambulance are differed from country to country. American sirens from police cars are swelling and decaying sirens, while in Europe the two-tone siren is used.

You can find a multitude of alarm sounds and siren blasts at the Avosound online library to preview and download: alarm sirens, siren sounds, alarm bells and wailing air raid siren sounds.

Mechanical Alarm Sounds

Mechanical alarm sirens create howling alarm sounds by rotating a shovel-studded drum within a container that sports openings. The higher the number of the rotor's revolutions, the higher the pitch of the howling. The result are undulating siren alarm sounds. The siren can be operated electrically or manually. These mechanical alarm sirens are widely used all over the world. In the United States, very big and loud mechanical alarm sirens equipped with V8 cylinder motors were used during the Cold War.
In Germany, the mechanical siren is called unit siren E57 (although East Germany and countries of the former Soviet Union used their own type of similar construction during the time of the German Democratic Republic). This alarm siren creates a howling alarm sound that can allegedly be heard across very long distances (it reaches a sound level of 105 dB). In rural areas, the sound of the siren is said to reach 70dB even at a distance of 700m. In cities and industrial areas, these levels can obviously not be reached. One can imagine that the American alarm siren outfitted with a V8 motor was probably quite a bit louder than that.

Pneumatic Alarm Sounds

Pneumatic alarm sirens can create enormous sound pressure and spread it across big distances thanks to the horns mounted on the top of the siren. The construction of pneumatic alarm sirens is different from mechanical sirens. While the mechanical siren creates the airstream with the help of centrifugal forces, the pneumatic alarm siren uses a compressed air canister to pump the airstream into the siren head.
The air-powered alarm siren (pneumatic siren) is easily identified by the horns mounted to the siren's head. Similar to a mechanical siren, the air-powered alarm sirens create their signal by interrupting the air-stream cycle with the help of a perforated disc. The spinning disc inside the siren's head is called a rotor; it is electrically powered. The air-stream is directed through the holes in the rotor and external vents. The spinning motion of the rotor either opens or closes the holes, which creates the sound of the siren that is then directed to several horns. The air-stream that is needed for the operation of the siren is created by an Aerosol canister underneath the siren.

Klaxon Alarm Sounds

Klaxon alarm sirens were often used in the harsh environments of submarines, ships and industrial buildings. It comes as no surprise then that the unique siren sound of the Klaxon can be heard in many movies. A submarine movie without a Klaxon diving alarm sound is not a real submarine movie!
The Klaxon horn made another famous appearance in George Lucas' Star Wars films. Just one example: Ben Burtt, the sound designer and creator of the Star Wars sounds, used a Klaxon horn sound for scenes set inside the Death Star.

Library Waveform Filename add Price Description Channels Duration ShortID Category Subcategory Location Resolution Track ID Library
1 SoundStorm Library Sounddogs Alarm Sound Effects, Tones-Alarms-KlaxonAlarm-CU Sound Effects Waveform Tones-Alarms-KlaxonAlarm-CU.wav $ 4.06* Alarm Sounds, Alarm Tones, Alarm Sounds, Klaxon Alarm Siren, CU - Steady Pulse 2.0 0:44

Alarm

Alarm Klaxon

16 Bit / 48000 Hz 166009 SoundStorm Library
2 SoundStorm Library Sounddogs Alarm Sound Effects, Alarms-KitchenAlarm-Int-MCU Sound Effects Waveform Alarms-KitchenAlarm-Int-MCU.wav $ 5.61* Alarm - Kitchen Alarm - Int - Medium Close Up - Kitchen Room Tone With Alarm Buzz And Clock Ticking 2.0 2:16 Alarm Alarm 16 Bit / 48000 Hz 121993 SoundStorm Library
3 SoundStorm Library Sounddogs Alarm Sound Effects, Alarms-CarAlarm-Ext-Close_3 Sound Effects Waveform Alarms-CarAlarm-Ext-Close_3.wav $ 2.59* Alarm - Car Alarm - Ext - Close-Up - Rapid Honks For Alarm Going Off, (2001 Ford Explorer) 1.0 0:25 Alarm Alarm Auto 16 Bit / 48000 Hz 121913 SoundStorm Library
4 SoundStorm Library Sounddogs Alarm Sound Effects, Alarms-VentilatorWAirInI.V. Sound Effects Waveform Alarms-VentilatorWAirInI.V..wav $ 3.86* Alarm - Ventilator W Air In I.V. Pump Alarm - Int - C U - Regular I.V. Pump Alarm With Erratic Ventilator, Off Stage Voices In Background 2.0 0:37 Alarm Alarm 16 Bit / 48000 Hz 122011 SoundStorm Library
5 SoundStorm Library Sounddogs Alarm Sound Effects, Alarms-HighPitchedAlarmWith Sound Effects Waveform Alarms-HighPitchedAlarmWith.wav $ 5.01* Alarm - High Pitched Alarm With C U Motor Sounds - Int - C U Rattle From Escalators, Some Medium Close Up Walla @ Times, Sounds Like Flappy Fan Belt And Electrical Motor Steady, Loud Alarm Goes Off @ 1 14 2.0 1:32 Alarm Alarm 16 Bit / 48000 Hz 121987 SoundStorm Library
6 SoundStorm Library Sounddogs Alarm Sound Effects, Alarms-HospitalHeartMonitor Sound Effects Waveform Alarms-HospitalHeartMonitor.wav $ 3.80* Alarm - Hospital Heart Monitor Alarm - Int - C U - On And Off, Two Tone, (Goes Off If Alarm Goes Above Or Below A Pre Determined Rate) 2.0 0:35 Alarm Alarm 16 Bit / 48000 Hz 121989 SoundStorm Library
7 SoundStorm Library Sounddogs Alarm Sound Effects, Alarms-CarAlarm-Ext-Close_2 Sound Effects Waveform Alarms-CarAlarm-Ext-Close_2.wav $ 2.32* Alarm - Car Alarm - Ext - Close-Up - Series Of Persistent Honks From Alarm Going Off; (1996 Ford Explorer) 1.0 0:17 Alarm Alarm Auto 16 Bit / 48000 Hz 121912 SoundStorm Library
8 SoundStorm Library Sounddogs Alarm Sound Effects, Alarms-NavyAlarmHornBlasts- Sound Effects Waveform Alarms-NavyAlarmHornBlasts-.wav $ 2.92* Alarm - Navy Alarm Horn Blasts - Interior - C U - Alarm Horn Blast Eight Times 2.0 0:14 Alarm Alarm 16 Bit / 48000 Hz 122008 SoundStorm Library
9 SoundStorm Library Sounddogs Alarm Sound Effects, Alarms-CarAlarm-Ext-Close-U Sound Effects Waveform Alarms-CarAlarm-Ext-Close-U.wav $ 2.78* Alarm - Car Alarm - Ext - Close-Up - Series Of Persistent Honks From Alarm Going Off; (1996 Ford Explorer) 1.0 0:32 Alarm Alarm Auto 16 Bit / 48000 Hz 121920 SoundStorm Library
10 SoundStorm Library Sounddogs Alarm Sound Effects, Alarms-HospitalHeartMonit_1 Sound Effects Waveform Alarms-HospitalHeartMonit_1.wav $ 3.77* Alarm - Hospital Heart Monitor Alarm - Int - C U - Constant Tone, (Lower Level Alarm, Not For Life Threatening Situations) 2.0 0:34 Alarm Alarm 16 Bit / 48000 Hz 121988 SoundStorm Library
11 SoundStorm Library Sounddogs Alarm Sound Effects, Alarms-CarAlarm-Ext-Close_1 Sound Effects Waveform Alarms-CarAlarm-Ext-Close_1.wav $ 1.53* Alarm - Car Alarm - Ext - Close-Up - 6 Steady Honks From Alarm Going Off; (1996 Ford Explorer) 1.0 0:04 Alarm Alarm Auto 16 Bit / 48000 Hz 121911 SoundStorm Library
12 Casablanca Sound Library Sounddogs Alarm Sound Effects, Alarm,Jet,HUD,Lock,Slow Sound Effects Waveform Alarm,Jet,HUD,Lock,Slow.wav $ 4.00* Alarm: Alarm Jet HUD Lock Slow 1.0 0:17 Alarm Alarm 16 Bit / 48000 Hz 4496 Casablanca Sound Library
13 SoundStorm Library Sounddogs Alarm Sound Effects, Alarms-ElectronicWatchAla_1 Sound Effects Waveform Alarms-ElectronicWatchAla_1.wav $ 1.67* Alarm - Electronic Watch Alarm Beeps - Int - CU - High-Pitched, Rhythmic Double Beeps 2.0 0:02 Alarm Alarm Electronic 16 Bit / 48000 Hz 121977 SoundStorm Library
14 BBC Sound Effects Library BBC Alarm Sound Effects, AlarmsElectronic.BBC.EC5E8a Sound Effects Waveform AlarmsElectronic.BBC.EC5E8a.wav $ 4.00* Alarm, Electronic: Accelerating Alarm. (Specially Created Electronic Sound.) 2.0 0:31 Alarm Alarm Electronic 16 Bit / 44100 Hz 26391 BBC Sound Effects Library
15 SoundStorm Library Sounddogs Alarm Sound Effects, Tones-Alarms-ElectronicAl_2 Sound Effects Waveform Tones-Alarms-ElectronicAl_2.wav $ 2.73* Tones - Alarm - Electronic Alarm - CU - Rapid, Quick And Repetitive Beeps 1.0 0:30 Alarm Alarm Electronic 16 Bit / 48000 Hz 166000 SoundStorm Library
16 SoundStorm Library Sounddogs Alarm Sound Effects, Alarms-CarAlarm-Ext-Close_7 Sound Effects Waveform Alarms-CarAlarm-Ext-Close_7.wav $ 1.02* Alarm - Car Alarm - Ext - Close-Up - Activate; (2001 Ford Explorer) 1.0 0:01 Alarm Alarm Auto 16 Bit / 48000 Hz 121917 SoundStorm Library
17 SoundStorm Library Sounddogs Alarm Sound Effects, Alarms-ElectronicAlarm-In_3 Sound Effects Waveform Alarms-ElectronicAlarm-In_3.wav $ 2.80* Alarm - Electronic Alarm - Int - CU High-Mid-Ranged Dissonant Pulses 1.0 0:33 Alarm Alarm Electronic 16 Bit / 48000 Hz 121959 SoundStorm Library
18 SoundStorm Library Sounddogs Alarm Sound Effects, Alarms-ElectronicCarAlarm_4 Sound Effects Waveform Alarms-ElectronicCarAlarm_4.wav $ 2.39* Alarm - Electronic Car Alarm - Ext - Medium Distant - Dual Tones W Fast Siren @ Tail 2.0 0:07 Alarm Alarm Siren 16 Bit / 48000 Hz 121972 SoundStorm Library
19 BBC Sound Effects Library BBC Alarm Sound Effects, AlarmsBurglar.BBC.ECD18b Sound Effects Waveform AlarmsBurglar.BBC.ECD18b.wav $ 4.00* Alarm, Burglar: Burglar Alarm, Bell 2.0 0:34 Alarm Alarm Burglar 16 Bit / 44100 Hz 26386 BBC Sound Effects Library
20 SoundStorm Library Sounddogs Alarm Sound Effects, Alarms-Whoop-WhoopAlarm-Int Sound Effects Waveform Alarms-Whoop-WhoopAlarm-Int.wav $ 3.33* Alarm - Whoop-Whoop Alarm - Int - CU Nasally Signals 1.0 1:00 Alarm Alarm 16 Bit / 48000 Hz 122016 SoundStorm Library
21 SoundStorm Library Sounddogs Alarm Sound Effects, Alarms-BurglarAlarm-Ext-CUT Sound Effects Waveform Alarms-BurglarAlarm-Ext-CUT.wav $ 4.58* Alarm - Burglar Alarm - Ext - CU To Medium Distant - Steady, Constant Fast Ringing, Car By At Tail 2.0 1:07 Alarm Alarm Auto 16 Bit / 48000 Hz 121909 SoundStorm Library
22 SoundStorm Library Sounddogs Alarm Sound Effects, Alarms-ElectronicAlarm-Ext- Sound Effects Waveform Alarms-ElectronicAlarm-Ext-.wav $ 3.54* Alarm - Electronic Alarm - Ext - CU Hollow, Mid-Ranged Pulses 1.0 1:14 Alarm Alarm Electronic 16 Bit / 48000 Hz 121954 SoundStorm Library
23 BBC Sound Effects Library BBC Alarm Sound Effects, AlarmsBells.BBC.ECD45 Sound Effects Waveform AlarmsBells.BBC.ECD45.wav $ 5.00* Alarm, Bells: Burglar Alarm, Combined Bell And Electronic Siren. 2.0 1:03 Alarm Alarm Bells 16 Bit / 44100 Hz 26373 BBC Sound Effects Library
24 SoundStorm Library Sounddogs Alarm Sound Effects, Alarms-KlaxonDiveAlarm-Int- Sound Effects Waveform Alarms-KlaxonDiveAlarm-Int-.wav $ 3.09* Klaxon Alarm, Klaxon Dive Alarm - Int - CU Mid-Ranged Grating Signals 2.0 0:17 Alarm Alarm Klaxon 16 Bit / 48000 Hz 122006 SoundStorm Library
25 BBC Sound Effects Library BBC Alarm Sound Effects, AlarmsWatches.BBC.ECD104 Sound Effects Waveform AlarmsWatches.BBC.ECD104.wav $ 4.00* Alarm, Watch: Digital Watch Alarm 2.0 0:23 Alarm Alarm Watch 16 Bit / 44100 Hz 26429 BBC Sound Effects Library
26 SoundStorm Library Sounddogs Alarm Sound Effects, Alarms-ChemicalAlarm-Ext-CU Sound Effects Waveform Alarms-ChemicalAlarm-Ext-CU.wav $ 1.86* Alarm - Chemical Alarm - Ext - CU Reverberant By 1.0 0:08 Alarm Alarm 16 Bit / 48000 Hz 121943 SoundStorm Library
27 SoundStorm Library Sounddogs Alarm Sound Effects, Alarms-KlaxonAlarm-Int-CU-H Sound Effects Waveform Alarms-KlaxonAlarm-Int-CU-H.wav $ 1.36* Alarm Sounds, Klaxon Alarm Siren, Int - CU - High Pitched Cyclical Siren, Short Series Of Beeps 2.0 0:01 Alarm Alarm Klaxon 16 Bit / 48000 Hz 122001 SoundStorm Library
28 BBC Sound Effects Library BBC Alarm Sound Effects, AlarmsElectronic.BBC.EC160C Sound Effects Waveform AlarmsElectronic.BBC.EC160C.wav $ 4.00* Alarm, Electronic: Fawley Oil Refinery, Alarm Signal Sounded. 2.0 0:25 Alarm Alarm Electronic 16 Bit / 44100 Hz 26410 BBC Sound Effects Library
29 SoundStorm Library Sounddogs Alarm Sound Effects, Alarms-CarAlarm-Ext-O.S-Yel Sound Effects Waveform Alarms-CarAlarm-Ext-O.S-Yel.wav $ 2.92* Alarm - Car Alarm - Ext - O. S - Yelps With Periodic Honks 2.0 0:14 Alarm Alarm Auto 16 Bit / 48000 Hz 121937 SoundStorm Library
30 SoundStorm Library Sounddogs Alarm Sound Effects, Alarms-KlaxonAlarm-Int-CU_2 Sound Effects Waveform Alarms-KlaxonAlarm-Int-CU_2.wav $ 2.17* Alarm Sounds, Klaxon Alarm Siren, Int - CU - High Pitched Cyclical Siren, Medium Length Series Of Beeps 2.0 0:05 Alarm Alarm Klaxon 16 Bit / 48000 Hz 121996 SoundStorm Library