Alarm device

Etymology and History
– The word ‘alarm’ comes from the Old French ‘a larme’ meaning ‘to the arms’ or ‘to the weapons.’
– It was used to tell armed men to pick up their weapons and get ready for action.
– The term ‘alarum’ is an archaic form of ‘alarm’ and was used as a call to arms in Elizabethan dramas.
– The word ‘alarm’ appears 89 times in Shakespeare’s first folio.
– Recent research suggests that a bell or drum may have been used to rouse soldiers from sleep.
– Early alarm devices were often bells, drums, or other musical instruments that made loud noises to attract attention.
– Whistles were used by police in the 19th century, and steam whistles were used on locomotives, ships, and in factories as alarm devices.
– With the advent of electricity, buzzers, klaxons, sirens, horns, and flashing lights were invented as alarm devices.
– Alarm devices can be fitted to buildings and vehicles, ranging from simple smoke detectors to sophisticated systems that can automatically operate fire fighting systems.
– Many industries have developed standards for alarm devices, with red, blue, and amber colors generally recognized as alarm device-related colors.

Responses to an alarm
– Human reactions to an alarm depend on upbringing, psychological training, or the behavior of others in the environment.
– Regular drills and testing of alarms can help people practice appropriate responses.
– Alarm devices designed for building evacuations may be intentionally made difficult or painful to encourage occupants to leave.
– Some alarms can startle and trigger a fight-or-flight response in humans.
– A person in an alarmed state can be characterized as alarmed.

False alarms
– False alarms can waste resources and be dangerous.
– They can divert firefighter manpower from real fires and risk injury to firefighters.
– False alarms may cause people to ignore alarm signals, potentially leading to ignoring a real emergency.
– Common causes of false alarms include pets, incorrect security codes, and loud sounds from windows or doors.
– Proper placement of alarms and additional monitoring stations can help reduce false alarms.

Types of alarm devices
– Common alarm devices include alarm clocks, fire alarms, warning devices on vehicles, and sirens on emergency vehicles.
– Burglar alarms are often silent to alert law enforcement without alerting the burglar.
– Distributed control systems and operation and maintenance monitoring systems also generate alarms.
– Safety alarms are used to alert to dangerous conditions, such as civil defense sirens and smoke detectors.
– Other types of alarms include car alarms, autodialer alarms, and video alarm verification systems.

Related concepts
– Alarm management
– Warning system
Physical security
– Security alarmSources: