Today, the mechanical engineer, or more specifically the ventilation engineer, has become more involved in protecting, hardening, and fortifying both high-profile buildings and those housing important functions. Facility owners are currently spending a lot of money - especially the largest building owner, Uncle Sam - on assessing the risks imposed by various threats and hazards, determining the associated vulnerabilities with these risks, and then developing mitigation strategies.
The term "threat" is used to describe any man-made indication, circumstance, or event with the potential to cause the loss of, or damage to, an asset. Its synonyms include danger, menace, hazard, risk, and peril. Within the intelligence community, law enforcement, or the military, the word is typically used to describe an aggressor or an adversarial action or event, such as terrorists or acts of terrorism and other man-made events or hazards. Agencies such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other civil agencies use the term "hazard" instead of "threat" to refer to acts of terrorism, technological hazards, and "natural hazards" such as a flood, wind, or seismic disaster.