Bomb threats should always be treated as though there actually is a bomb until all facts are evaluated and authorities can thoroughly search the area.
If you receive a bomb-threat telephone call, ask the caller:
- Where is the bomb?
- When will it explode?
- What does it look like?
- What will cause it to explode?
- Did you place the bomb?
- Why did they place the bomb?
- What is your name?
- Are you an employee?
- Where are you calling from?
If you receive an email bomb threat or a suspicious package, note any pertinent information such as background noises, gender of caller, voice pitches and patterns, then call 911 and evacuate the building.
Before the police arrive, the building safety coordinator can help facilitate the investigation. This is called the "Two-Minute Scan." Do not stay in the building, but as you are leaving:
Scan your area for things that may be out of order. This will greatly reduce the amount of time required to search a building. Employees can recognize objects that are out of place. That information may help authorities search more quickly.
Do not touch, jar or move any suspicious objects. Do not use cell phones, radios or other wireless devices. Anyone who has had contact with a suspicious package should wash the exposed skin with soap and water after reaching a place of safety.
When leaving the building, take your purse, backpack and/or briefcase with you. This will reduce the number of items to be searched and will help get you back in the building sooner. Leave doors, offices and storage spaces open and unlocked. Every room will be searched. Please share this information with the people in your area.
Suspicious Objects and Packages
A suspicious object is defined as any object of unknown origin. It may be a backpack, briefcase, radio, shopping bag or book. A suspicious package or object may be suspected for any of several reasons:
- The package is labeled “bomb,” “danger,” “do not open,” etc.
- The package resembles a bomb or is located in a place to fit the circumstances.
- The package does not belong to the particular premises or is out of place.
- The origin of the package is questionable or cannot readily be determined.
- The physical characteristics of the package are suspicious in size, shape, weight or sound.
If a suspicious package or bomb is found, evacuate the area. Do not handle it, move it, immerse it or cover it. You do not know how the device is fused. Do not take the time to try to barricade or “sandbag” a suspicious object.
If a suspicious object is found in a room in the building, leave the door open when you leave it to summon aid. (You want to create an escape route for expanding gases. You close doors in a fire evacuation; you open doors to ventilate in a bomb threat evacuation.)
The building safety coordinator should stand outside and act as a guide to direct the police upon their arrival.