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Standard Emergency Warning Signal (SEWS)

The Standard Emergency Warning Signal (SEWS) is a distinctive tone played on radio or television in the event of an emergency.

For the public

The SEWS tone will be played immediately before an urgent public safety message.

When you hear the tone, you should pay immediate attention. Listen to the announcement and follow any instructions given.

As part of a coordinated national emergency plan, an audio signal has been adopted to alert the community to an urgent safety message relating to an identified emergency such as a bush fire.

For the media

The NSW RFS will issue an official authorisation for the use of SEWS.

If you receive an official authorisation, do not delay.

Play the SEWS tone for 10 seconds. If you do not have the SEWS tone, download it immediately below:

Following the SEWS tone, read the message on air. Read it verbatim. Do not alter the message content.

The message must be read at regular intervals, as shown on the SEWS authorisation message. It should be read until an official Stop SEWS message is issued.

Media outlets should not use the SEWS tone for any other purpose, such as advertising, live crosses, interviews or news reports. It should only be used in conjunction with an official SEWS authorisation.

If you have doubts about a SEWS message you have received, visit the NSW RFS homepage or the Major Fire Updates page. Emergency Warnings will be clearly marked.