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U.S. Geological Survey Manual

Physical Security Handbook 440-2-H


Access. (1) A condition or equipment mode that allows authorized entry into a protected area without alarm by electronically or mechanically deactivating a sensor or sensors. (2) The ability and means to approach, store or retrieve data, or to communicate with or make use of Information Technology resources. (3) The ability and opportunity to obtain knowledge of classified information. An individual, in fact, may have access to classified information by being in a place where such information is kept if the security measures which are in force are not sufficient to prevent gaining knowledge of the classified information.

Access Control. (1) An aspect of security that utilizes hardware systems and specialized procedures to control and monitor the movement of individuals, vehicles, or materials into, out of, or within secured areas. Access to various points may be a function of authorization level or time, or a combination of the two. (2) The use of physical security as a means of controlling movement into or out of secured areas.

Access-Control System. An electronic, electro-mechanical or mechanical system designed to identify and/or admit authorized personnel to the secure area. Identification may be based on any number of factors such as a sequencing of combinations, special keys, badges, fingerprints, signature, voice, etc. These systems are for personnel access control only and are not to be used for the protection of stored information or materials.

Alarm Station. (1) A manually actuated device installed at a fixed location to transmit an alarm signal in response to an alarm condition, such as a concealed holdup button in a bank teller's cage. (2) A well-marked emergency control unit, installed a fixed location usually accessible to the public, used to summon help in response to an alarm condition. The control unit contains either a manually actuated switch or telephone connection to fire or police headquarters, or a telephone answering service. See also remote station alarm.

Annunciator. (1) A device that signals a change of protection zone status in a security system. An annunciator may log alarms or display a continuous status for each alarm sensor in a system. Annunciators include Cathode Ray Tube displays; sometimes called an alarm receiver, alarm monitor or alarm device. (2) The component of an alarm system that announces a change of status of the systems, usually in the form of audible and/or visual signals.

Authorized Persons. Those persons who have a need-to-know for the classified information involved, and have been cleared for the receipt of such information. Responsibility for determining whether a person's duties require that he/she possess, or have access to, any classified information, and whether he/she is authorized to receive it, rests upon the individual who has possession, knowledge, or control of the information involved, and not upon the prospective recipient. Also includes persons approved to enter a controlled or restricted area.

Balanced Magnetic Switch. A two-part sensor that generates an alarm condition when a change in the magnetic field between the parts is detected. Usually mounted on a door and doorframe to detect opening of the door. A balanced magnetic switch provides better protection against a defeat attempt than a standard magnetic contact.

Bar Lock. (1) A type of rim lock in which metal bars slide out from a central point on the door and into receivers on both sides of the door frame. Turning a key or bolt on the center element retracts the bars enough to let the door open. A door with a bar lock cannot be pulled out of its frame even if the hinge pins are removed. (2) a metal rod or tube which slides through fittings affixed to the front of a file cabinet, bent at the top and secured with a combination lock, which holds the drawers closed.

Battery Backup. A standby battery that is kept fully charged for use during a primary power failure. An essential element in all electrically operated security systems. Also called Uninterruptible Power Source (UPS).

Bolt. The part of a lock which, when actuated, is projected (or "thrown") from the lock into a retaining member, such as a strike plate, to prevent a door or window from moving or opening. See also dead bolt, flush bolt, and latch.

Bypassed. Circumvention of an alarm system, rendering it or a portion of it inoperative.

Capacitance. The property of two or more objects, which enables them to store electrical energy in an electric field between them. The basic measurement unit is the Farad. Capacitance varies inversely with the distance between the objects, so the change in capacitance with relative motion is greater when one object is nearer to the other.

Capacitance Alarm System. An alarm system in which a protected object is electrically connected as a capacitance sensor. The approach of an intruder causes sufficient change in capacitance to upset the balance of the system and initiate an alarm signal. Also called a proximity alarm system.

Card Access. A type of access control system that uses a card with a coded area or strip, on or inside the card, to actuate a lock or other access control device. To activate the device, the card is inserted into or through a slot where the data in the coded area is read. If the code is accepted, a signal will be transmitted to unlock the device or perform some other access control function. See definition of Card Reader for more information on types.

Card Key. A card usually plastic, that contains encoded information to open a locking device.

Card Reader. A device that reads the information on a card key. Card readers may obtain data from access cards by reading punched holes, magnetic spots, stripes or wires, or any of several other methods that use punched, embossed, or embedded information. The reader may be an integral part of the lock, or it can be located in the immediate vicinity. Card readers fall in one of two categories, on-line or intelligent. On-line readers must communicate with a central processor that makes the entry/exit decision and transmits a signal back to the locking device. The intelligent card reader compares the data on the card with preprogrammed parameters and entry or exit is granted or denied by the card reader itself at the reader location. Intelligent readers are also called stand-alone or off-line readers.

Central Station. (1) An organization or business established for the purpose of monitoring subscribers' alarm systems from a centralized monitoring location rather than at the individual sites. Communication with subscriber alarm systems is generally by telephone line, but may be by wireless or direct wire. The central station notifies police or fire services immediately upon receipt of alarm. All alarms are recorded and investigated. Central stations may utilize WATS lines to extend services on a regional or national basis. (2) The control point of a monitoring system that is normally supervised by security personnel.

Central Station Alarm System. An alarm system that uses a central station, as distinguished from a proprietary alarm system where the alarm monitoring is done on-site.

Change Key. A key that will operate only one lock or group of keyed-alike locks, as distinguished from a master key. See also keyed-alike cylinders and master key system.

Classified Information. Official information that has been identified and marked as Top Secret, Secret, or Confidential in the interests of national Security.

Closed Circuit Television. Abbreviated CCTV. A television system, usually hard-wired, used for proprietary purposes and not for public or general broadcast. Often used in security applications in conjunction with access control, general surveillance, motion detection, or alarm assessment.

Cognizant Security Authority. The Central Intelligence Agency has been designated by the National Foreign Intelligence Board to maintain cognizance over the Department of the Interior's security program relating to approvals for access to, and the receipt, handling, storage, and destruction of Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI).

Combination. The group of numbers that represent the bitting of a key and/or the tumblers of a lock or cylinder.

Combination Lock. A keyless lock which requires the turning of a numbered dial to a preset sequence of numbers for the lock to open. It is usually a three position, manipulation resistant, dial type lock, although cipher locks with push buttons are also referred to as combination locks.

Controlled Area. A room, office, building, or facility to which access is monitored, limited or controlled. Admittance to a controlled area is limited to persons who have official business within the area.

Control Station. An office or facility designated as the sole point of receipt, storage, and dispatch of classified material as prescribed in the USGS National Security Information Handbook 440-3-H.

Control Unit. The nerve center of the alarm system located on the premises.

Custodian. An individual who is designated the responsibility for maintaining the Classified Document Register (DI Form 1834) and the centralized storage for a given functional area, and is charged with the responsibility for safeguarding and accounting for classified information.

Dead Bolt. A lock bolt that does not have an automatic spring action and a beveled end as opposed to a latch bolt, which does.

Deadbolt Lock. A lock that uses strong metal components that cannot be easily forced. Deadbolt locks are available in single and double configuration; double deadbolts may be locked from either side of a door.

Dead Latch. A spring-actuated latch bolt having a beveled end and incorporating a feature that automatically locks the projected latch bolt against return by end pressure.

Dedicated Line. (1) A power or transmission line with a single function, such as data transmission, or to a single source such as an outlet for a computer. (2) A non-shared telephone line to an individual subscriber from a central station.

Dedicated Mode. Operation of an AIS when each user with direct or indirect access to the AIS, its peripherals, remote terminals, or remote hosts, has all of the following: a) a valid personnel clearance for all information on the system, b) formal access approval for and has signed nondisclosure agreements for all the information stored and/or processed (including all compartments, sub compartments and/or special access programs), and c) a valid need-to-know for all information contained in the system.

Delay. A time interval, measured by an electronic circuit, used to provide a desired alarm feature such as entry/exit delay.

Detector. Any device that senses the presence of an intruder, an intrusion attempt, fire, etc.

Deterrent. Any physical or psychological device or method that discourages action. In the physical security arena, locks or window grills are physical deterrents and the presence of a guard or surveillance camera are psychological deterrents.

Doppler Effect. The change in the frequency of a wave, as a light wave or sound wave, resulting from relative motion of the source and the receiver.

Duress Alarm. (1) An alarm condition that signals a dangerous situation, such as an intruder. Often unobtrusive sensors so as to not place the victim in greater danger trigger these alarms. Duress alarms are usually designed to silently initiate an alarm, which is annunciated at a remote station or guard post. (2) A sensor used in a duress-sensing capacity.

Electromagnetic Lock. A door lock that uses an electrically actuated magnetic attraction to secure the door. Magnetic locks use no moving parts.

Expanded Metal. An open mesh formed by slitting and drawing sheet metal. It is made in various patterns and metal thickness, with either a flat or irregular surface.

False Alarm. An alarm signal that does not represent a dangerous or unwanted condition, usually caused by some fault or problem in the system.

Facility Security Officer (FSO). Designated by the senior USGS official having responsibility for the security of a Federal owned or leased space. The FSO serves as the Designated Official (as defined by the Federal Property Management Regulations (FPMR) Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 41, Part 101-20.003) or assists the Designated Official and administers the physical security program through the Regional Security Officer or Center Security Officer as set forth in this handbook for an office, building, or other facility. At the National Center, the Chief, Office of Management Services, serves as the designated official, and the USGS Security Manager serves as the FSO.

Floor Master Key. A master key which operates all or most lock cylinders on a particular floor of a building.

Foil. An electrically conductive ribbon used for a sensing circuit. Foil is normally between 0.001 and 0.0003 inch in thickness, and from 0.125 to 1.0 inch in width. It is commonly used on windows and other glass applications. The metal strip completes an electrical circuit that if broken, causes an alarm condition. Also called tape.

Foreign Intelligence Registry. An office or facility designated as the sole point of receipt, storage, and dispatch of foreign intelligence material as prescribed in the USGS National Security Information Handbook 440-3-H.

General Alarm. The notification, often by annunciation, of an evacuation or readiness alert throughout a facility.

Grand Master Key. The key that operates two or more separate groups of locks, which are each operated by different master keys.

Hinge Dowel. A dowel or pin which projects from a door jamb into an opening in the edge of a door at its hinge which prevents removal of the locked door even if the hinges or hinge pins are removed.

Holdup Alarm. An alarm that originates from a point where holdup protection is required, such as a bank teller window or store cash register. It is usually a silent alarm to protect the cashier.

Industrial Security. That portion of internal security that is concerned with the protection of classified information in the hands of U.S. industry.

Information. Any information or material regardless of its physical form or characteristics, which is owned by, produced by or for, or is under the control of the United States Government.

Infrared Motion Detector. A passive, low power, area protection device that detects a change in ambient temperature within the coverage pattern caused by the movement of a body. Sensor circuitry generates an alarm when a moving object causes a change in radiated energy levels within the coverage area. These units are more sensitive to objects moving across the beam pattern than to objects moving toward the sensor. Also called passive infrared.

Infrared Sensor. (1) Passive: detects an intruder by body heat (Infrared Energy), (2) Active: a photoelectric beam that emits infrared to detect an intruder.

Initial Briefing. The initial indoctrination on the national security information provided to personnel prior to being authorized access to classified information and the execution of the Classified Information Nondisclosure Agreement form.

Intrusion Detection System. An alarm system comprised of intrusion sensors and alarm annunciation devices for the purpose of detecting intruders. Typical intrusion detectors include balanced magnetic contact switches and ultrasonic, infrared, or microwave motion or intrusion sensors.

Line Supervision. A means where a known current is present on the line to the central station. Cutting or shorting the line changes this current, which results in an alarm.

Local Alarm. An alarm that annunciates at the location of a locking device, to discourage or announce intrusion attempts. The alarm usually uses a bell, siren, lighting system or combination of such devices. It usually turns off automatically after a pre-set time, although some require a manual shutoff. A local alarm may also be linked to a central station or other remote location.

Magnetic Contact. A magnetically operated switch, typically used on doors and windows to detect opening.

Microwave Sensor. An active intrusion sensor that detects the movement of a person or object through a pattern of microwave energy. Microwave sensors are classified as monostatic, bistatic, or terrain following. Generally, they use the Doppler effect to recognize movement within a protected area. Bistatic sensors operate on a beam break principle. Terrain-following microwave sensors are essentially bistatic sensors with antenna configurations that are not overall line-of-sight. Monostatic sensors are typically designated for indoor use; bistatic and terrain-following sensors are normally used for outdoor applications.

National Security Information. Designated information, which requires protection in the interest of national defense or foreign relations of the United States, that is, information classified in accordance with Executive Order 12356 and not falling within the definition of Restricted Data or Formerly Restricted Data.

Perimeter Protection. A scheme of protection that uses devices to detect intrusion at points of entry into a protected area such as doors, windows, skylights, etc.

Photoelectric Alarm. A kind of motion detector that uses a focused beam of light (usually ultraviolet) to detect an intruder. Any interruption in the light path will set off the alarm. The beam is usually aimed so that an intruder would have to break the
beam in order to move through the protected area. Sometimes called an electric eye.

Primary Special Security Officer. Responsible for all the administration of all requirements for foreign intelligence material and serves as the single point of contact for the security administration of all special access programs within the USGS.

Propellant-Activated Device. Any tool or special mechanized device or gas generator system that is activated by a propellant or releases or directs work through a propellant charge.

Protected Area. That portion of a premises that is covered by an alarm system.

Proximity Alarm System. See Capacitance Alarm System.

Refresher Briefing. The periodic reindoctrination on the national security information program provided to personnel with continuing authorized access to classified information.

Restricted Area. A room, office, building, or facility to which access is strictly and tightly controlled. Admittance to a restricted area is limited to personnel assigned to the area or persons who have been specifically authorized access to the area. Visitors to a restricted area and uncleared personnel must be escorted by personnel assigned to the area and all classified and sensitive information must be protected from observation, disclosure, or removal.

Screens. An array of wires or electrified screening that protects areas or openings, such as skylights and crawl spaces. It may use broken circuit or capacitance techniques to sense intrusion.

Security. Refers to the safeguarding of information classified Top Secret, Secret, or Confidential to prevent unlawful unauthorized dissemination, duplication, or observation.

Sensitive But Unclassified (SBU) Building Information. SBU includes but is not limited to paper and/or electronic documentation of the physical facility information listed in Chapter 10, Section F, paragraph 2.A.

Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI). SCI is classified information concerning or derived from intelligence sources, methods, or analytical processes, which is required to be handled exclusively within formal control systems established by the Director of Central Intelligence.

Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF). An accredited area, room, group of rooms, or installation where SCI may be stored, used, discussed, and/or electronically processed.

Small Arms Ammunition. Any shotgun, rifle or pistol cartridge and any cartridge for propellant-activated devices. This definition does not include military ammunition containing bursting charges or incendiary, tracer, spotting, or pyrotechnic projectiles.

Special Access Program. Any program imposing access controls beyond those normally provided for access to Confidential, Secret, or Top Secret. Such programs include special clearances, investigative requirements, or special access lists of persons determined to require special access. Special access programs pertaining to intelligence activities, or intelligence sources or materials exercised by the Director of Central Intelligence.

Special Security Officer (SS0). An individual who is designated the responsibility for the secure operation of a SCIF and insuring the secure handling, storage, destruction, and transmittal of foreign intelligence material.

Strongroom. A reinforced interior space enclosed by or separated from other similar spaces by four walls, a ceiling and a floor, constructed of solid building materials, and used for storage of classified materials.

Supervised Lines. Interconnecting lines in alarm systems that are electrically supervised against tampering. See also Line Supervision.

Surreptitious Entry. The unauthorized entry into a facility or security container in a manner in which evidence of such entry is not discernable under normal circumstances.

Tamper Switch. A switch, usually mechanically operated, used to detect opening of alarm equipment.

Termination Briefing. The briefing provided to personnel upon termination of authorization for access to classified information and their acknowledgement of their continuing responsibilities by executing a Debriefing Acknowledgement.

Top Guard. Anti-personnel device, usually of barbed or concertina wire, installed at the tops of fences and along roof edges.

Ultrasonic Detector. A device that senses motion in a protected area by a Doppler shift in the transmitted ultrasonic energy. The device operates by filling a space with a pattern of ultrasonic
waives; the modulation of these waves by a moving object is detected and initiates an alarm signal.

Unauthorized Person. Any person who is not authorized to have access to specific classified information. Regardless of the degree of clearance, an individual is not authorized access to classified information of any degree without a demonstrated need-to-know.

Uninterruptible Power Source. UPS systems provide backup power. They monitor the incoming power lines and provide continuous electrical current in the event of a change in voltage. The UPS provides a certain amount of battery backup.

Vault. A windowless enclosure of heavy, reinforced construction with walls, floor, roof and door(s) designed and constructed to delay penetration sufficiently to enable the timely arrival of response forces.

Vibration Detection. An alarm system that employs one or more contact microphones and vibration sensors, which are fastened to the surfaces of the area or object being protected to detect excessive levels of vibration. The contact microphone system consists of microphones, a control unit containing an amplifier and an accumulator, and a power supply. The unit's sensitivity is adjustable so that ambient noises or normal vibrations will not initiate an alarm signal.

Volumetric Alarm. A system that detects movement through the interior of an alarmed area, as opposed to the detection of perimeter penetrations.

Walk test. A procedure of actually walking through the area protected by a motion detector to determine the limits of its coverage.

Zone. Large protected premises are divided into areas or zones, each having it own identification and/or annunciation.

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, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA, USA
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