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UK Emergency Alerts test – how loud will it be? 

On Sunday 23 April at 3.00pm, there will be a national test of the UK Emergency Alerts service.

An infographic from the UK Government, showing a phone that says "emergency alerts" on the screen. Text next to the image says: "we are testing emergency alerts on mobile phones across the UK, 23 April at 3pm"

Emergency Alerts is a UK government service that will warn you if there’s a danger to life nearby. 

Watch a BSL video about the Emergency Alerts service

During the test, your mobile phone or tablet may make a loud siren-like sound (even if it’s on silent), vibrate, and read out the alert. The sound and vibration will last for about 10 seconds. 

We asked the government how loud the emergency alert will be. They said: 

“The volume of the alert will be the maximum allowed by the phone. If the phone is set to silent, it will be maximum volume possible on the individual’s phone.” 

The volume of the alert may be uncomfortable for people using hearing aids that connect to a phone via Bluetooth, people wearing headphones, and people with tinnitus, people with hyperacusis, or who are sensitive to sound.

If you are concerned you could: 

  1. Avoid wearing headphones during the test
  2. Disconnect your hearing aids from Bluetooth before the emergency alert test 
  3. Avoid being too close to your device when the emergency alert test takes place 
  4. Avoid crowded spaces where the noise may be amplified by multiple devices. 

Contact us

If you are deaf, have hearing loss or tinnitus and need free confidential and impartial information and support, contact RNID.

We’re open 8:30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

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