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I'm writing a technical document about a human operator "___-ing an incoming alarm" in a system.

I.e. An alarm was annunciated by the system, the operator performs some actions, and thereby ensured that the root cause of the alarm was no longer present.

I want to say that the operator in this case "____-ed" the alarm. Some ideas:

  • mitigated: "make (something bad) less severe, serious, or painful." The alarm itself was never severe or serious, the root cause was!
  • solved: I feel like that would imply that the person only caused the alarm to no longer annunciate. I want it to be implied that the root cause of the alarm is solved.
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  • Neutralizing, I guess...
    – fev
    Commented Jun 15, 2023 at 13:54
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    I hate to suggest this as an answer, but there’s always “actioned”
    – Ben Murphy
    Commented Jun 15, 2023 at 14:20
  • Annunciated and thereby ensured? In IT, more than in other domains, we write for techies with English as their second or third language. "The system announced (or sounded) an alarm" would be shorter and still do the trick. Commented Jun 15, 2023 at 15:33
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    You heed the alarm, then fix the problem and cancel the alarm. Usually in the order 1/3/2. Overall, you respond to the alarm. Commented Jun 15, 2023 at 16:33
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    Different terminology is used in different industries and in different regions. A burglar alarm in a warehouse or a fire alarm in a school may be different from a CPU alarm on a motherboard or a water alarm in a basement, etc. It would improve your question if you added more specifics about the type of alarm and the audience for your document.
    – barbecue
    Commented Jun 17, 2023 at 2:48

8 Answers 8

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Thinking in a computer systems context, though it may apply in other contexts as well, I would use "the alarm was resolved to say that problem causing the alarm had been rectified.

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  • I like this best. thank you.
    – Chris_abc
    Commented Jun 23, 2023 at 14:29
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You need to make a clear distinction between dealing with the alarm and dealing with the cause of the alarm.

If the operator only dealt with the alarm (meaning stopping the noise, light, message or whatever else was attracting attention) then you can say they "cleared"/"cancelled"/"silenced"/"terminated" the alarm. (There are many other appropriate verbs too).

If they dealt with the underlying cause then you should say they "dealt with"/"fixed"/"remedied"/"remediated"/etc. the cause.

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    "Cancelled" is the normal term in telemetry etc. although there might be shadings relating to the gravity of the issue and the extent to which the current operator is qualified. So anybody might "silence" or "mute" an alarm to allow him to e.g. 'phone somebody elsewhere on site to check what's going on, while final cancellation will be by somebody in a position to ascertain that all issues have been dealt with. Commented Jun 16, 2023 at 11:27
  • @MarkMorganLloyd: From my work as a Google SRE, it's my understanding that this practice varies significantly by employer. At some employers, you ACK (acknowledge) the alert immediately (which has the effect of clearing it) and final resolution is tracked by a separate system, and at some, you only clear the alert when the incident is resolved.
    – Kevin
    Commented Jun 16, 2023 at 19:26
  • I think you're right that this is the clearest way of going about it.
    – Chris_abc
    Commented Jun 23, 2023 at 14:30
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In the UK one would RESPOND to an alarm and make sure the alarm state is resolved

And then you would simply RESET the alarm , effectively putting it back into its waiting state.

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    In my opinion, "respond" is not strong enough here. If the alarm is about a small problem, I will respond by solving it, but if it's about a big problem, I will still say that I "respond" if I do anything about it, even if I'm not capable of solving the whole problem.
    – Stef
    Commented Jun 17, 2023 at 11:58
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You could say the operator cleared the alarm. This doesn't absolutely indicate that the root cause was addressed, but there is some connotation that the problem was addressed and the situation is now "clear". Other verbs like silence would be preferable for turning off an alarm without actually addressing the problem.

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You could say that you have remediated the alarm, or for a slightly less formal version, remedied.

to correct something that is wrong or damaged or to improve a bad situation

Cambridge Dictionary

It may still suffer from the issue you describe with it applying only to the alarm and not the underlying cause, but to me remedy does carry the connotation of actually doing something.

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A good general term is, dispatched the alarm. It implies that it has been dealt with but doesn't give very much description about the alarm or what action was taken.

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When a burglar or fire alarm is tripped, the central monitoring station operator will perform a check on the status of the system. This may consist of a visual check via cctv, or a call-back to the home or business to confirm the situation. Normally the home or business owner will need to respond with one of 2 codes identifying either an active situation or a false trip.

This is referred to as

verification

>Alarm verification means an attempt by a monitoring company or its representative to contact a burglar alarm location or a burglar alarm user by telephone or other electronic means to determine whether a burglar alarm signal is valid in an attempt to avoid unnecessary police response before requesting law enforcement to be dispatched to the location

LawInsider

“Verified burglar alarm” means confirmation of an unauthorized entry or attempted unauthorized entry upon the premises, building, or structure protected by the burglar alarm system. Verification may be made by the alarm system user or other person at or near the scene of the activation, a private guard responder or alarm company operator, and shall be based on a physical observation or inspection of the premises, or by remote visual inspection of the premises.

California County code

So you could say that the operator verified the alarm.

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    Seems slightly different from what the OP is after - this doesn't suggest that anything at all has been done to address the problem, other than confirming that it's not a false alarm. A verified alarm means you definitely have a problem, not that the problem was fixed. Commented Jun 15, 2023 at 16:51
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    "verified" does not mean the same as 'fixed". Commented Jun 15, 2023 at 17:15
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There are several verbs you can use to describe fixing an alarm. Here are a few options:

  1. Set: This verb is commonly used when you configure or adjust an alarm to a specific time or setting. For example:

    "I set the alarm for 7 a.m."

  2. Program: This verb implies that you have entered or adjusted the settings of an alarm, often on a digital device. For example:

    "I programmed the alarm to go off every weekday."

  3. Adjust: This verb suggests making changes or fine-tuning an alarm to ensure it functions correctly. For example:

    "I adjusted the alarm volume to be louder."

  4. Fix: Although not specific to alarms, you can use "fix" to convey that you repaired or resolved an issue with an alarm that was not working properly. For example:

    "I fixed the alarm; it's working perfectly now."

  5. Activate: This verb indicates the action of turning on or enabling an alarm system. For example:

    "I activated the alarm before leaving the house."

Choose the verb that best fits the context and the specific action you performed on the alarm.

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    Commented Jun 17, 2023 at 7:03

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