An action taken or a mechanism put in place to avoid a disaster. Fail-safe does not mean that something is unable to fail (the term used for this is fail-secure), but instead means that if something does fail, the device will do whatever possible to minimize the negative outcomes. Many forms of transportation will include fail-safe mechanisms, which in the event of a potentially problematic mechanical malfunction, will operate in a way which does everything possible to ensure the safety of the travelers.

Use fail-safe in a sentence

Many people are uncomfortable keeping their money in banks. However banking today has a better security protocol than in times past. The locks of the devices used to hold money usually have a FAIL-SAFE mechanism which assists in minimizing the risk of robbers getting to peoples money.

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In the event of a crash of the stock exchange, the system is built with a fail-safe this mechanism uses technology to help limit any losses that would occur if the stock exchange system became unresponsive.

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When the building inspectors were writing out their plan review of a new building in town, they noticed that there were no generators in case the power went out. The architects had to install the building with back up generators as a fail-safe plan to keep the building lit.

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