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22 / 01 / 2007

SAFETY vs. SECURITY: meaning and examples

Good morning.

Today's Daily Vitamin was created by one of our teachers, Jenny Smedley, who answered one of her student's questions made by email. I've included a version of her answer as today's Daily Vitamin.

Hola, ¿me podrías decir cuál es la diferencia entre 'safety' y 'security'?

Saludos, Fernando

Hello Fernando,

Security and safety are very similar (parecidos) words, but here are the main differences in use:

1. SAFETY is:
(a) the condition of being safe, free from danger or risks (seguridad)

Example 1:
The U.N. cannot guarantee the safety of the refugees
(La ONU no puede garantizar la seguridad de los refugiados.)

(b) used to describe devices or clothing that prevent injury. Below are some examples:

-safety helmet (casco)
-safety belt (cinturón de seguridad)
-safety lock (cerradura de seguridad)
-safety razor (maquinilla de afeitar)
-safety equipment (equipo de seguridad)
-safety pin  (imperdible)
-safety switch (interruptor de seguridad)


(a) The protection of a company or country against espionage, theft or other danger (medidas de protección y vigilancia)

Example 2:
Airport security increased after 9/11.
(Las medidas de protección y vigilancia en los aeropuertos aumentaron después del 11 de septiembre.)

(b) An organisation for ensuring the above.

-security force (fuerza de seguridad)
-security guard (guardia de seguridad)

I hope this has helped you, Fernando, but if you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask me.


Thank you very much for your contribution Jenny. The answer you gave Fernando is VERY complete.

Please post any questions about today's Daily Vitamin in the Daily Vitamin Plus! forum section on our website.

Enjoy your day!