Metro government officials say they have been alert to the dangers of vandalism to tornado sirens, especially after the recent discovery of sirens being tampered with in Elizabethtown.
During a recent test of tornado sirens in Elizabethtown, officials there found copper wiring had been stolen from six devices, requiring $10,000 in repairs.
Jim McKinney works for the Metro Emergency Management Agency. He says most of the 200 tornado sirens in Jefferson County are located in high traffic areas, including fire departments and schools. McKinney says they also are protected to deter thefts.
“Most of our sirens, we install them with vandalism and things of that nature in mind,” McKinney says. “Our sirens are raised so the general public just can’t get to them at ground level. And then some of our sirens, we have them in fenced areas.”
McKinney says the city tests the sirens monthly and has maintenance crews check many of them periodically.
Copper prices have skyrocketed since January making the metal more valuable to thieves. Scrap copper currently sells for about $3 per pound.