c.1300, from O.Fr. sauvete,
(11c.), from M.L. salvitatem
) "safety," from L. salvus
). Meaning "trigger-lock on a gun" is attested from 1881. As a N.Amer. football position, first recorded 1881. Safety-pin
is from 1857; safety-valve
is from 1797; fig. sense recorded from 1818. Safety-net
first recorded 1950. Safety-first
as an accident-prevention slogan first used in Britain in 1873 (said to be originally from U.S. railroads); widely used on Conservative Party election posters in 1922.