Nationwide Test: this is why your phone might make siren-like sounds today

Don’t be alarmed if your phone suddenly starts making loud noises today—it’s all part of the government’s new emergency alert protocol.

This summer, the British government is going to launch a nationwide emergency alert system that allows them to issue warnings about dangerous occurrences in the UK. The alerts will be sent out in the case of floods, fires, explosions, terrorist attacks, or public health emergencies. They will be directly delivered to every phone or tablet that is in the vicinity, hence the government does not require any additional details like your address or phone number.

First trial

The first trial will be conducted today, 22 June, between 1pm and 2pm, and the government has warned that a small minority ofandroid users may receive the alert. It states on the official website:

If you have an Android device, there’s a small chance you may get a test alert. Your device may make a loud siren-like sound.

Along with the sound, users will get a message that says:

This is a mobile network operator test of the Emergency Alerts service. You do not need to take any action. To find out more, search for

The second trial will be conducted on 29 June, but this time it will only be sent out to devices in Reading, Berkshire.


If you don’t want to receive the test alert, you can search your settings for ‘emergency alerts’ and turn off ‘severe alerts.’ While you can it switch off the notifications, users will still get a warning for the most life-threatening events. At the same time, the government had advised people to keep the alert on at all times. They add:

You cannot opt out by subject, only by how serious the emergency is. If you opt out because you do not want flood warnings, for example, you might miss alerts for fires and terrorism.
Because of this, you should keep emergency alerts switched on for your own safety.
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