Police and Fire South Orange

Saturday Night Loud: Accidental Midnight Seton Hall Siren Wakes Residents; University Apologizes

From South Orange Village President Sheena Collum:

Message from the Village President regarding SHU Emergency Siren False Alarm and testing clarifications.


Earlier today I was notified that residents were abruptly woken last night due to a Seton Hall University emergency siren which caused considerable concerns and led to many community members contacting our South Orange Police Department around midnight.

I have spoken with the Director of Public Safety at Seton Hall and he sends his regrets and apologies on behalf University as the siren was an accident and the result of human error.

The University conducts two types of test of its system – an inaudible (silent) test and a 10 -second audible test. These tests are performed to ensure that the features of the emergency warning system are working. The silent tests are performed at the beginning of each shift and the audible test is performed on Saturdays at 12 noon.

Additionally, a biannual test of the entire emergency warning system (siren, telephone, text, email, etc.) are also conducted at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters and public notice is provided.

The biannual test, which was this week, along with the weekly Saturday noon test and the subsequent error that occurred last night resulted in three sirens in a week’s time and understandably, many residents have expressed frustration.

Seton Hall has discontinued any further testing of the system until further notice. It is the Village’s intention to work with our University partners to identify ways we can minimize some of the impacts of the audible testing and ensure residents are better informed as to when these will be conducted.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Sheena Collum

Village President

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