20 September 2019 was the moment everyone had been waiting for. ‘Almost two years after our initial contact with our partner in Brazil, the first siren warning system was successfully put into operation in the field,’ said Matthias Müllner, managing director of HÖRMANN Warnsysteme. His colleague Johannes Antoni added, ‘Especially after seeing the horrific images from the dam collapse in Brumadinho in January 2019, we all agreed that our customer, Vallourec Brazil, needed to be properly equipped in case of emergency.’

The specialists set up three high-powered electronic sirens in the working area of the mine and in two settlements that would be affected by a flood wave if the nearby dam were to burst. At the Vallourec Brazil control centre, there is a control panel featuring the communication unit for the sirens connected to a computer with a user interface and status screen. There is also another control panel to ensure redundancy in the operation of the sirens. This can be used to trigger alert signals in the form of warning sounds and recorded voice messages as well as to transmit announcements to sirens for broadcast.

A radio network installed specifically for the purpose is used to transmit the signals. HÖRMANN Warnsysteme developed the mast installation in line with the recommendations of its Brazilian partner, paying a lot of attention to durability and protection against vandalism. Two solar panels supply power to each siren. In the event of poor weather, operators can connect a generator to a charging cable in the inspection opening at the foot of the mast.

In the same month, Brazil commissioned two further systems of the same type and for the same application, each involving four sirens.