press the panic button

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press the panic button

To overreact to a negative situation with an inordinate amount of fear, alarm, or confusion. If you're going to be a successful boss, you can't press the panic button every time your company has a minor setback. New parents tend to press the panic button over every little sniffle their first baby gets.
See also: button, panic, press

press (or push or hit) the panic button

respond to a situation by panicking or taking emergency measures. informal
A panic button is a security device which can be used to raise the alarm in an emergency.
See also: button, panic, press

press/push the ˈpanic button

(British English) react in a sudden or an extreme way to something unexpected that has frightened you: Although the team lost yet another match on Saturday, their manager is refusing to press the panic button.
See also: button, panic, press, push

press the panic button

verb
See also: button, panic, press
References in periodicals archive ?
But we are pleased to see that the governor is looking to the medium term to see that inflation will return to target and has therefore not pressed the panic button on interest rates.
But then, Merthyr for some reason pressed the panic button and it was clear Gloucester had the upper hand.
My assistant manager quickly realised something was not right and pressed the panic button as one of the men charged at the locked door.
Colleagues at Shotton Job Centre pressed the panic button and police were called.
The group recorded a pounds 281million loss in the first six months of this year and yesterday bosses pressed the panic button.
Although obviously disappointed by the result, coach Dave Whistle has not pressed the panic button yet.