Security Acronyms

This is a list of common terms, acronyms and TLAs used in the construction and building security industries. These are physical security acronyms and not for cyber security.
Click here to download a PDF of this list below.

AACS Automated Access Control System, for example using a magnetic card to open an electro-mechanical lock. As opposed to a manual key and lock
Annealed glass Common plate glass that when broken, splinters into sharp jagged pieces that can cause more damage than what originally caused the glass to originally break
ARB Architects Registration Board – The UK regulatory authority for Architects
ASIAD Aviation Security in Airport Development – Guidance on security for Airports
ASF Anti Shatter film – A film that is applied to glass to give some protection again glass fragments or spall, often transparent
BL Blast Load – A description of the loading or force from an explosion. Used to define what a building needs protection from
BR Bullet Resistance – A description of a material’s resistance to bullets or projectiles. Split into classes, for example BR4 is certain types of handgun. There are many standards. Note the whole component, not just a single material, is important, see FB below
CPNI Centre for Protection of National Infrastructure – A UK government authority which provides security advice for the national infrastructure in order to protect national security
CT Counter Terrorism
CTSA Counter Terrorism Security Advisers – Police advisers providing guidance to businesses and the community on protecting against terrorism
FB A rating for the bullet or ballistic resistance for a complete component, such a doorset or a window and its frame. This is split into classes, for example FB6 is protection against certain types of rifle
Framed Construction A type of construction where a buildings weight is carried by a skeleton or framework. This is an alternative to where a building is supported by loadbearing walls. Under current UK laws, the removal of a single column does not result in a building collapsing
IDS Intruder Detector system, for example CCTV or sensors triggering alarms
ISPS International Ship and Port Facility Code – Regime for maritime security
Laminated glass Layers of glass of various thickness bonded together with interlayers such as transparent plastics – a glass sandwich
HVM Hostile Vehicle Mitigation – Protective measure against vehicle borne threats
Loadbearing masonry Traditional brick (or block work) construction where each brick rests on the brick below. That is, each brick transfers the load and carries part of the whole structure above it. Generally only used now in small low buildings. Not good in an explosion or earthquake. See also Framed construction above
NaCTSO National Counter Terrorism Security Office – The police unit advising on the protection against terrorism, working with CPNI. Responsible for the CTSA police advisers.
OR Operational Requirements – A statement of the security requirements for a building based on a systematic assessment using CPNI guidelines. Usually split into a general Level 1, followed by specific Level 2’s
PAS Publically Available Specification – A British document that is similar to a standard formal standard, but can be produced more quickly for reasons such as it does not always have full consensus from all technical stakeholders
PBIED Person Borne Improvised Explosive Device
PIDS Perimeter Intruder Detector system, for example CCTV or sensors triggering alarms
RIBA Royal Institute of British Architects. The main professional body for Architects. Architect members are allowed to call themselves Chartered Architect
Risk Threat and Vulnerability
RSES Register of Security Engineers and Specialists – The only UK government sponsored register of security experts. The assessment and code of ethics is administered by the ICE for the CPNI
SIDOS Security in design of stations. Guidance on physical security for railway stations
Spall The fragments of glass ejected from the rear of glass etc when hit by a projectile or blast
Standoff A safety margin or physical distance between the threat and its target , e.g. how many metres between an explosive and a building
SVBIED Suicide Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Device
Threat Intention and Capability
Toughened glass Toughened, or tempered glass, is a type of safety glass that breaks into small granular chunks instead of sharp shards or pieces
VBIED Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Device