101 Town Center, P.O. Box 5655, Bella Vista, AR 72714 (479)876-1255

Why doesn't Bella Vista have tornado sirens?

Severe weather season is upon us, and we encourage residents to stay weather alert. Bella Vista does NOT have tornado sirens in the city, and here’s why:

  • Bella Vista’s topography makes it difficult, nearly impossible, to reach the siren sound to all residents.
  • In order for all residents to hear the sirens, the city would have to spend a huge amount of money installing A LOT of sirens.
  • Sirens are meant to be heard by those outdoors, not as a warning for those already indoors.
  • Today’s technology — phones, apps, TV weather alerts, BC Alert, etc. — is BY FAR a better way to receive weather alerts.


tornado-siren-switchBella Vista at one time did have sirens, but after a study of their efficacy, they were disabled. The button to set off the sirens is still at Fire Station 1, and the sirens can still be seen on some of the water towers.

tornado siren switchBella Vista Fire Chief Steve Sims encourages all residents to sign up for BC Alert, the countywide alert service that lets its users personalize the information they receive and how they receive it. Click here to register.

Be aware of what each weather alert means. For instance, a tornado watch means conditions are right for a tornado to form at any time. A tornado warning means rotation has been spotted. A severe thunderstorm, warned Sims, could produce a tornado at any time.

And lastly, if Bella Vista — or any location where you are — is under a tornado warning, SHELTER IN PLACE. Do not leave your home to go somewhere else, even to a public tornado shelter. Find the interior-most area in your home, and stay there, placing as many walls as possible between you and the outside.

If you have any questions about severe weather preparedness, give us a call at Station 1 — 479-855-8249.