The failed invention of the week award goes to a fire alarm that was designed in 1938. The purpose of this alarm was to prevent pranksters setting off the alarm and wasting the fire brigades time.
It works by trapping the arm of the person inside the box and they are prevented from escaping until the police or fire brigade let them out.
This naturally means that if there was an actual fire the person pulling the alarm is going to burn to death because of this invention. Brilliant!