Alarm

From Academic Kids

Alarms give warning of a problem or of a condition, often audibly and/or visually.

Alarms used for different purposes include:

Alarms, from innocuous sirens to actual smoke detectors, have the capability of causing a fight or flight response in humans; a person under this mindset will panic and either flee the perceived danger or attempt to eliminate it, often ignoring rational thought in either case. We can characterise a person in such a state as "alarmed".

With any kind of alarm, the need exists to balance between on the one hand the danger of false alarms (called "false positives") -- the signal going off in the absence of a problem ; and on the other hand failing to signal an actual problem (called a "false negative"). False alarms can waste resources expensively and even dangerous. For example, false alarms of a fire can waste firefighter manpower, making them unavailable for a real fire, and risk injury to firefighters and others as the fire engines race to the alleged fire's location. In addition, false alarms may acclimatise people to ignore alarm signals, and thus possibly to ignore an actual emergency: Aesop's fable of The Boy Who Cried Wolf exemplifies this problem.

See also Alarm management, clock, home safety alarms.de:Alarm

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