Alert Systems, Inc.
Alert Systems, Incorporated was a short-lived electronic siren manufacturer based in Paducah, Kentucky. Only one installation is known to have existed. The sirens used parts produced by Loudspeaker Components, Inc.
Cape Girardeau, Missouri
The city of Cape Girardeau, Missouri requested bids for a twelve siren warning system in August of 1979. Four companies submitted bids: Alerting Communicators of America, Law Enforcement Equipment Company, Acme Electric Co.(Both being Federal Signal, distributors,) and Alert Systems, Incorporated. City officials requested demonstrations of the Thunderbolt and of Alert Systems, Incorporated's sirens. Impressed by the latter's voice capabilities, the city awarded a $109,800 contract on October 17th, 1979. City Administrative Assistant Cecelia Sonderman toured the factory on the 16th of November. The system design was finalized on the 5th of December, with the city deciding against the voice option and the company adding three additional sirens at no cost to the city, bringing the total to fifteen. Fourteen locations were initially decided upon while the fifteenth was unspecified and later dropped. It was specified that the entire system would be operational by April 15th of the next year.
Installation began on February 26th, 1980; the first location was completed three days later. However, by the end of March no other installations had been completed. The master control unit had yet to be installed and only five utility poles had been erected at other locations. By May 28th, nearly six weeks after the estimated completion date, four sirens still had not been installed and the system had not been tested. The system installation was finally completed, minus one siren, in late June, but was not yet activated.
The city hired Engineering Dynamics International to conduct a test on the warning system on June 26th, 1980. They reported that the sound level produced by the sirens was much lower than the specified in the contract: 70dB in residential areas, 80dB in business areas, and 90dB in heavy industrial areas. Only one location exceeded 60dB. Each siren was tested from within two blocks away with the siren in view of the test equipment. It was noted that the sirens should have been placed at areas of highest elevation. The city gave Alert Systems two weeks to modify the system in order to bring it up to specification, who requested an additional sixty days. This soured city council members, who had already advanced Alert Systems approximately $63,000. It was revealed that this system was Alert Systems' first. Another test was conducted on August 4th, determining that the modified sirens were still not up to specification. The city requested the system be removed and to be reimbursed $70,000 on August 8th. The exact amount was $69,992.55 and was sent the following Friday. Alert Systems requested sixty days to remove the fourteen sirens, which was granted. All sirens were removed.
The city opened bidding on a new system in early November. Three companies submitted plans for electromechanical sirens, but in a council meeting on December 17th city officials decided that all three were out of budget and the project was canceled.