The Best Ways to Scare Your Friends and Neighbors!
What do Bart Simpson and the Nordic trickster god Loki have in common? What about Bugs Bunny and Jim Halpert from The Office? Well, each one of them is a proud prankster, of course! From ancient gods to modern fictional characters, people have always been fascinated with fun-loving jokesters.
If you’d like to follow in the footsteps of the greats, you need to start making mischief as soon as you can! Using distracting sounds is one of the easiest ways to declare yourself a prankster. Siren soundboards have been popular for years for exactly that reason. So today, we’re going to talk about how you can use emergency vehicle sirens to prank your friends and family!
Before we share some of our ideas, we should explain what we’re talking about. Let’s take a moment to discuss what different emergency vehicles sound like and why they’re so difficult to ignore.
What Do Different Emergency Vehicle Sirens Sound Like?
If you want to execute a prank successfully, you have to learn how to get a big reaction. That’s what makes emergency vehicle sirens the perfect tool for our purposes. After all, they were designed to draw attention.
Generally, there are three types of sirens you could use to prank people. Police sirens, fire truck alerts, and ambulance sounds are all pretty impossible to ignore. So let’s briefly talk about what makes each of those noises unique.
Most people never hear tornado horns or other sounds that warn of extreme weather. The same thing goes for sounds that warn of incoming missiles or other threats.
Thankfully, most of us have only heard those in movies. However, many common dangers are accompanied by the blaring of police sirens. That’s why they make so many people nervous and why they tend to be so distracting as well!
Ultimately, a police siren is the most memorable and common emergency vehicle noise there is. Since we’re planning on pranking people by playing these sounds, that works out in our favor!
There are several types of police sirens you might know, depending on where you live. Some of them feature two rapidly pulsating high-pitched tones. British police cars, however, have their own particular cadence.
Generally, though, police sirens fall into the category of wailing alarms, which go up and down in pitch for varying amounts of time. These sounds were originally produced by hand-cranked devices, which gave them their signature tonal rise and fall.
Nowadays, the most common wailing sirens complete that rotation within five or eight seconds. Additionally, while most police sirens do this without interruption, some feature a brief pause between each tone rotation. These kinds of sirens can also start with a drawn-out wail and transition into a faster one.
If you prank someone with these kinds of sounds, you should prepare to get an exasperated reaction at the very least. Generally, people just want to see where police cars are going so that they can ensure their own safety. However, do know that if you use siren sound samples on someone who has a bad history with law enforcement, you might end up regretting it.
EMS Ambulance Sirens
As with most emergency vehicles, seeing and hearing ambulances tends to make people nervous. Yet, these vehicles don’t cause as much of a stir as police cars, even though they use rotating lights and sirens for all the same reasons. They do a great job of clearing the street of other vehicles so that the EMTs can get to their patients quickly.
Ambulance sirens usually start with a drawn-out rising wail, which is followed by an equally long descent. They usually have a lower pitch than other emergency vehicle sirens. Some ambulances also use yelping sounds, which rapidly switch between increasing and decreasing tones. However, those are relatively rare.
Furthermore, there are times when EMT vehicles don’t even engage their sirens. For that to happen, the EMTs would have to agree that the noise would compromise the patient’s health. Consequently, the ambulance would rely on rotating lights to clear a path through traffic.
Ultimately, most people can’t tell the difference between various kinds of sirens. They just recognize that some are wailing sounds, while others are more rapid yelping sounds. So if you want to use sirens to prank people, you’ll probably be able to use them interchangeably.
Fire Engine Sirens
Fire trucks typically use a variant of the recognizable ambulance siren. A fire truck siren has a similarly long introductory wail, going up in pitch. However, the descent is slightly quicker than what you might hear from a police car or an ambulance. Furthermore, it’s usually accompanied by a more rapid horn, though that only emphasizes the driver’s haste.
Like police cars, fire engines may also alternate between two tones. These discrepancies in noises may be the result of local sound codes various fire departments use. Such codes may even indicate to other fire departments in the area where the fire is.
Still, the primary function of a fire engine alarm is to notify other drivers to move out of the way so that the firefighters can reach their destination quickly. Sirens could even be a call to volunteers, particularly in small towns.
Most fire departments take care not to activate their sirens at night so as not to disturb people’s sleep. As we have established, emergency vehicles can use rotating lights to motivate other drivers to move out of the way. If you’re planning to unleash your prank at night, it’ll probably be that much more effective.
Of course, we must urge you to avoid doing that unless it’s absolutely necessary for your own sake (even though two of our prank ideas can take place at night). We’ll leave it up to your discretion to decide when using sirens at night is unavoidable. With that in mind, let’s talk about the ideal scenarios for pranking someone with siren sounds!
Perfect Opportunities for Emergency Vehicle Siren Sound Pranks
Whether you want your prank to land like a harmless joke or a stinging insult, practicing your timing is incredibly important. Obviously, blasting police siren sounds from your phone isn’t the best course of action in every situation. But we’ll talk about the consequences of poorly timed or planned pranks later on.
For now, let’s discuss how you can recognize ideal pranking scenarios when they happen. Whether you want to call attention to yourself or break the tension, if you need inspiration, look no further.
Wake Up Your Siblings or Roommates
Every seasoned prankster starts testing their chops on family and close friends. The targets of this particular prank need to be people that sleep under the same roof as you — siblings or roommates, ideally. If you’re not worried about your well-being, you can also do this to your parents or partners.
The premise of the prank is simple. You just have to use one of the horrifyingly loud sounds we’ve discussed to wake someone up! When they finally open their eyes, they may be raring for a fight, so be careful — unless you’re in a fighting mood too. Either way, there’s something unbelievably funny about an unexpected wake-up call.
This prank isn’t necessarily reliant on sirens, though they tend to be the loudest sounds available. It’s certainly better to wake your siblings or roommates up with loud noises than with buckets of ice-cold water!
If you are a frequent snoozer, you can even use this tip to make yourself wake up on time. Set a siren sound sample as your morning alarm — we guarantee you won’t snooze that one!
Wreak Havoc at Work or School
You don’t have to wait for your targets to fall asleep! You can use loud noises to liven up a room — or scare its occupants — at any time.
For example, playing fire truck sounds in the office break room will definitely frighten the smokers in the room. Logically, fire sirens wouldn’t be the first sounds you’d hear if something had burst into flames in the office. But just watch: a few of your co-workers will rush to stomp out their cigarettes. In any case, watching them flail their arms to chase the smoke away before the boss sees it is always entertaining.
You can even do a similar thing at home, especially if your mom is prone to burning her cookies. The next time you smell smoke, turn on the fire truck alarm to let her know.
Alternatively, you can try this in between lectures at your university. Keep an eye on students who start running at the sound of police sirens! They might be the people to talk to if you want some answer sheets for your upcoming tests. If not, they could at least have some really interesting contraband. Either way, this prank is certainly good for a laugh.
Spook the Driver of the Car You’re In
Have you ever been stuck in a car with a truly unhinged driver? If you have to cling onto the grab handle while the driver is running red lights and ignoring speed limits, it’s best to intervene before you both get hurt. Whether the driver is your parent, your friend, or your partner, they deserve to be scared straight. If only there was an emergency vehicle siren that could do the trick!
Obviously, every driver feels that familiar prickle of anxiety when they hear police sirens. Even if they haven’t done anything wrong, they tend to sit up straight and drive more carefully.
But you don’t have to see signs of irresponsible driving to do this prank. After all, it has been used by kids across the country — nay, the world! — for decades now. Still, it’s always nice to use your prankster powers for righteous purposes, at least.
However, before you intentionally distract the driver, make sure they’re not the anxious sort. Blasting horns at the wrong time could result in a serious mishap. So check if there are any possible ways for the joke to backfire before you go through with it.
Get Revenge on Your Noisy Neighbors
Not all pranks are good-natured — nor should they be! If you share a wall with your neighbor, you’ve probably had to listen to one or two of their late-night parties. And if someone is consistently keeping you up at night, it’s only fair to give as good as you get.
So the next time you hear the music go well into the night, point your speakers toward the wall, hook up your phone, and play the police car siren. Hopefully, that will disperse the revelers next door.
Once again, this comes with a caveat. Before you try to break up the party in this fashion, try talking to your neighbors. If they continue being loud for no reason, you have our blessing to proceed. Just don’t play the noise for too long if you have other neighbors!
Scare Clubgoers — But Only at Private Parties and With Permission!
Lastly, you could also play police sirens at a club if you want to make some people incredibly nervous. However, if you really want to break out your soundboard in public, you should practice caution.
Any truly great prank requires one thing above all else: control. You have to know how everybody in the room will react or at least have a good guess.
If you unleash police sirens on a bunch of strangers, you won’t be able to predict their reactions. People might panic — which is why we can’t yell “fire” in a movie theater — or get aggressive. They could even storm the exits. Even if nothing happens, security might still escort you out — or worse, they could involve the actual police.
So if you don’t want to get into trouble over this prank, you’ll have to get permission from the venue owner. They’ll be able to take the appropriate precautions to ensure the safety of the people in the venue. If they refuse to let you go through with it, you’ll just have to respect their decision.
You also shouldn’t do this kind of thing to strangers. Even if you have the permission of the venue owner, your friends would be less likely to hurt you for pulling a stunt like this than strangers.
Before Pranking People with Emergency Siren Sounds: Read the Room
To be perfectly frank, most people don’t react well to being scared by loud noises. We’ve mentioned as much while explaining some of our prank ideas. However, there’s a way to circumvent harsh reactions. As with any joke, the successful execution of a prank comes down to being able to read the room.
Even simply knowing the people that you’re pranking will go a long way toward ensuring that there are no hard feelings. Unless you’re doing it to exact revenge, your prank should ideally bring a smile to people’s faces. You should take care not to offend anyone too badly for the sake of a joke.
On the other hand, there are other strict rules you’ll want to look into before executing your prank. You should always be aware of local public nuisance laws and similar regulations that might put a damper on all the fun.
We’ve already mentioned a pretty reasonable rule that could prevent you from playing pranks in public spaces. The law clearly states that you’re not allowed to cause a panic that can lead to injuries. Whether people get riled up enough to panic or not, you’ll be responsible if someone gets hurt while running from a false police siren.
Where to Find Emergency Siren Sound Samples
Now that you know how to set up the perfect prank, you’ll just have to find decent samples of emergency vehicle sirens. Fortunately, that’s easy enough to do. There are plenty of videos on YouTube that are basically loops of different kinds of sirens. There are also other options for people who don’t want to waste their mobile data on a joke.
Aside from keeping audio files of siren sounds on your phone, you can also keep it simple by using an app. There are a bunch of soundboard apps available on the App Store and Google Play. Most of them have a simple interface, with different buttons playing different horns and sirens.
Siren Sound Mobile Apps
If you’re going for authenticity, you should get your hands on an app that has an interface that actually resembles a real mechanical siren. As you’ll see, the SirenBox app is the best example of that. But before we tell you more about the app’s features, let’s talk about what mechanical emergency vehicle sirens even look like.
Mechanical sirens are relatively small, box-shaped devices that can produce a wide range of siren sounds. They usually have a power switch and a rotating dial on the front side, which allows users to choose the kind of siren they want to use. Some devices only let you choose from wailing, yelping, and phaser sirens, while others allow for adjustments.
For example, users may be able to add their voices into the mix, similar to how police officers can speak over the sirens. In addition to those settings, the device may also have manual buttons for the horn. So if you were wondering how fire trucks can have wailing sirens and use the horn at the same time — there’s your answer.
So how can the SirenBox app look like a real mechanical siren? For one, the app has a power button that actually lights up when you turn it on. Before you do that, though, you can rotate the dial to the siren you want to use.
So you see, unlike most other apps, SirenBox isn’t a simple soundboard app. Instead, it gives you the complete experience of using a real mechanical siren — which can lend your prank an air of realism as well. Just plug it into your speakers or your car’s adapter, and fire away!
Final Thoughts on Pulling Emergency Siren Pranks
Most of us already know the scope of noises emergency vehicles can make: it’s a basic human requirement. In addition to letting people know about potential fires or accidents in the area, these sirens also direct traffic. No matter what kind of siren we hear, we automatically move our cars to the side of the road until the vehicle that’s making it passes. That’s just a part of road etiquette.
The same impulses we experience when we hear a siren on the road can influence the way we act in our day-to-day lives. Sirens were designed to be distracting and even frightening. That’s why people usually have such strong reactions when they hear them. If you’re looking to play a prank on someone, using a police siren practically guarantees success.
Now, we’ve given you a few ideas, but the rest is up to you. If you have an iPhone, the SirenBox app is the best and most realistic app you could use. The app’s interface actually looks like a simplified version of real mechanical sirens. After you set the dial to the right type of siren, just flip the power switch, and you’re all set! Look for it in the App Store or go to SirenBoxApp.com to start working your way into the pranking hall of fame.