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Rescue authorities warn of imminent danger in many ways and through several channels.
In hazardous situations and emergencies, the authorities warn the public of a direct and imminent danger with a general alarm signal issued through outdoor alarms and a related emergency warning.

The general alarm signal, given through civil defence systems, is a regularly rising and falling sound lasting for one minute or a warning issued by the authorities using loudspeakers. The rising and falling sounds last for seven seconds each. Under normal conditions, the general alarm signal advises people to immediately protect themselves indoors and follow the operating instructions given in the emergency warning. During an armed conflict, the general alarm signal directs people to take immediate shelter in the nearest civil defence shelter.

Helsinki has 40 fixed and mobile civil defence systems, which are tested on the first working Monday of each month.

The emergency warning provides information and instructions and is always published in connection with a general alarm signal given through civil defence systems. The emergency warning is broadcast on the radio, posted on the teletext page 112 and, if necessary, shown on television as running text on top of the screen. The emergency warning is also published in the 112 Suomi and Yle Uutisvahti applications and on the and websites, among other places.