Definition of the Word False Alarm
This is usually due to simple mistakes, such as entering the wrong password or taking too much time before entering the code. These types of false alarms can be avoided by taking more time to defuse systems and freely entering a home with at least one hand to properly defuse the system.  The aviation industry argues that these usable recorders can sometimes come out for no reason and broadcast unnecessary alarms. In (signal) detection theory, a false alarm occurs when a non-targeted event exceeds the detection criterion and is identified as a target (see Constant rate of false alarms). The term “false alarm” refers to alarm systems in many different applications that are triggered by something other than the expected triggering event. Examples include residential burglar alarm systems, smoke detectors, industrial alarms, and signal detection theory. The term “false alarm” may actually be semantically incorrect in some uses. For example, an anti-theft alarm could easily be accidentally triggered by residents of a home. The alarm is not necessarily false – it was triggered by the expected event – but it is “false” in the sense that the police should not be alerted. Because of this problem, false alarms can also be called “harassment alarms”.
False alarms are also common in smoke detectors and fire alarm systems in buildings. They occur when smoke detectors are triggered by smoke that is not due to a dangerous fire. Smoking cigarettes, cooking at high temperatures, burning baked goods, blowing out a large number of birthday candles, fireplaces and wood stoves when used around a smoke detector can all be the cause of these false alarms. In addition, steam can trigger an overly sensitive ionization smoke detector, another possible cause of false alarms. Oxford Advanced American Dictionary Name Definition for False Alarms A false alarm, also known as a harassment alarm, is the misleading or erroneous reporting of an emergency that causes unnecessary panic and/or brings resources (e.g., emergency services) to a place where they are not needed. False alarms can occur in home burglary detectors, smoke detectors, industrial alarms and in signal detection theory. False alarms can distract emergency responders from legitimate emergencies, which could ultimately result in loss of life. In some cases, repeated false alarms in a particular area can cause occupants to develop alarm fatigue and ignore most alarms, knowing that they are likely to be false every time. Deliberate mis-activation of alarms in companies and schools can lead to serious disciplinary measures and criminal sanctions such as fines and prison sentences. His face bore a look of distress, almost anxiety; She kept her place, but her eyes greeted Bernard in silence. Similarly, after too many car audible alarms turn out to be fake, most people no longer pay attention to whether someone is stealing a vehicle, so even some experienced thieves may admit that these alarms wouldn`t stop them from stealing vehicles.
 Windows and doors that are not fully closed may cause alarm contacts to misalign, which may result in a false alarm. If a door or window is left slightly open, the wind can inflate it, which also leads to a false alarm. To avoid this, the door and window should always be closed and closed safely.  Residential burglar alarms can be caused by incorrect system on/off, power outages and low batteries, stray pets, and unsecured doors and windows.  In the United States, false alarms cost police services up to 6.5 million hours of work, according to the International Association of Chiefs of Police.  A 2002 study by the U.S. Department of Justice estimated the cost of false alarms at $1.5 billion.  Because of these costs, many cities now require permits for burglar alarms, have issued verified response protocols, or introduced fines for excessive false alarms.
There is cause for concern when they bring one hundred and ten ships into these seas without it being able to resist on our part. The attention of the public, always vigilant and timid, hardly waits for the spectacle of danger to sound the alarm and withdraw its favor. However, part of the alarm came back when the creature tried to climb its own ladder. In fact, if you tested everyone in the U.S. tomorrow with over-the-counter tests, the vast majority of positive results — maybe nine out of 10 — would be false positives. Find out which words work together and create more natural English with the Oxford Collocations Dictionary app. The term “false alarm” is actually an inappropriate term and is regularly replaced by the term “harassment alarm”. When a sensor is working, this is hardly wrong [opinion], and it is usually a real indication of the current state of the sensor. A more appropriate term is harassment, which indicates that the alert is uncomfortable, annoying or intimidating.
A great example of this difference is the anti-theft alarms triggered by spiders. (A spider crawling on a web in front of the motion detector appears very large to the motion detector.)  False alarms can also refer to situations where one is frightened by something that later turns out to be false. One of the reasons for this is that due to a history of false alarms on tornado warnings, some people have not sought shelter. These sample phrases are automatically selected from various online news sources to reflect the current use of the word “false alarm.” The opinions expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us your feedback. Unfounded warning signal issued accidentally or deliberately. For example, the rumor that we would all be fired was just a false alarm, or setting off a false alarm is a crime. This expression, first recorded in 1579, is now often used for a report of a non-existent fire. Search for every word in the dictionary offline, anytime, anywhere with the Oxford Advanced Learner`s Dictionary app.
This flawed technology threatens civil liberties and public safety, creating false alarms that have led to an escalation of violence between police and community members. In the management of industrial alarms, a false alarm (interference alarm) can refer either to an alarm with little information, which can usually be safely eliminated, or to an alarm that could be valid but is triggered by a faulty instrument.  Both types are problematic due to the “cry wolf” effect described above. Last year, Voice of San Diego reviewed shipping records and found evidence that false positives were more common than the company`s marketing materials show. In the United States, between 94% and 98% of all intrusion alarm activations are triggered incorrectly.  On Christmas Day, some time after dark, a heinous fire invaded the place: 100 firefighters, 33 fire trucks, a fire with four alarms. A home burglar alarm may be activated accidentally due to power issues. These problems can be caused by weak batteries, an inconsistent power source (such as voltage drops or power surges), or a power outage where a backup power supply is missing or weakened. Prevention of this type of false alarm is usually achieved by changing the main and backup batteries and/or improving the reliability of a power source.    Sociologist Robert Bartholomew explains that there are many negative effects of false alarms, such as “fear, devastation, disruption of emergency services and waste of resources.” Health and safety can also be compromised as they can cause anxiety and encourage people to run to or away from an alarm, which can lead to panic accidents. Another problem is the “Cry Wolf effect”, which can cause people to ignore legitimate alarms; “In the event of an actual attack, subsequent warnings can be taken lightly or ignored altogether.” . Join our community to access the latest language learning and assessment tips from Oxford University Press! Some motion sensors are triggered by pets moving around a house.
This problem can be solved by finding motion detectors that are not sensitive to infrared signatures belonging to less than eighty pounds, or by limiting pets` access to rooms equipped with motion detectors.  Untrained users can be anyone who needs temporary access to their home but is not familiar with their system. Frequent untrained users include cleaning crews, repairers, dog walkers or babysitters. Better educating temporary users about a particular system can prevent them from accidentally triggering it.  Find the answers online with Practical English Usage, your essential guide to English language problems.