Acoustic signal Fire brigade fire department Hattingen power signal device Signalling traffic Warning signal

Fire department bell

The fire department bell is a component of a two-axled fire engine from the end of the 19th century. It was used to signal the right of way acoustically in case of a fire. Today it is an exhibit of the fire department museum in Hattingen.
The ringing of the fire department bell was first officially defined as the signal to claim the right of way in Prussia in 1851. Thereafter pedestrians, riders and wagons had to make a clear passage for the vehicles of the fire department.
Because of the growing noise of traffic, and in order to distinguish themselves from the signals of other vehicles, for instance the tram, the fire department and the police have used sirens (German: Martinshorn) since the 1930s to signal their right of way.

Sound recordist: Konrad Gutkowski / Jonathan Nicolai
Photographer: Konrad Gutkowski / Jonathan Nicolai
Video recordist: Konrad Gutkowski / Jonathan Nicolai


3.6 MB
20 s
2 (Stereo)
Sample rate:
Bit rate:
Bit depth:
44.1 kHz
1411 kb/s
16 bit
80 dB

Recorded on May 26, 2015
Feuerwehrmuseum Hattingen
Hattingen, GERMANY
Creative Commons License