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Difference Between Safety and Security

Safety vs Security

Safety and security are two words that are mostly used in conjunction and you hear them most often in terms of threats to the safety and security of a nation, organization or a system. On a more personal level, you secure yourself with arms to feel safe. This clearly means that the two words, though closely interrelated, are different, and this article will highlight the differences between safety and security to remove doubts from the minds of readers who think they are synonyms or interchangeable.

Have you seen the security cordon around a VVIP? When an important person moves around, there is a cavalcade of vehicles surrounding him full of commandos and other security personnel who are armed with guns and other fire arms to ensure the safety of the person from any mishap or intentional attack on the person. In a factory, there are safety measures that are adopted to safeguard people working on different machines. You also encounter security personnel inside a factory who are there to prevent any mishap that is intentional and comes from outside people or miscreants. This makes one thing clear. Safety is protection against mishaps that are unintended (such as accidents) whereas security is protection against deliberate accidents (such as attacks from miscreants).

Some one is safe when he is protected against danger or risk, and he is not likely to be harmed or lost. Security is the state of being free from danger or threat. For example, you install an anti virus software in your computer system to feel safe from all threats from the internet to your computer. Differences between safety and security are not huge though, and both refer to a state when one feels safe and without risks. The basic underlying idea of both safety and security is to protect the assets (whether a person or an organization) by creating safe, secure, risk free conditions. However, security pertains more to protection against criminal activities, and employing a guard or installing CCTV in your premises are provisions under security. This distinction assumes that security is against deliberate human (criminal) acts, whereas safety is just concerned with protection of human lives and assets.

Safety is protection against hazards (mishaps and accidents), while security is protection against threats (real and perceived). In modern times, security is mainly external as an individual, organization or a country has perceived threats for which it safeguards against. For example, a person safeguards against robbery and burglary by installing surveillance equipment at home or at office while an organization utilizes the services of armed guards to safeguard its assets. The concept of armed forces in a country is mainly to tackle threats to its security from external forces.

In brief:

Difference Between Safety and Security

• Safety and security are closely interrelated concepts that pertain to protection of lives and assets.

• While safety is protection against hazards (accidents that are unintentional), security is a state of feeling protected against threats that are deliberate and intentional.


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