Handling Bomb Threats

How to Handle a Bomb Threat

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms tells us the two most common reasons for reporting a bomb threat are:

  1. The caller has definite knowledge or believes that an explosive or incendiary bomb has been, or will be, placed and he/she wants to minimize personal injury or property damage. The caller may be the person who placed the device or someone who has become aware of such information.

  2. The caller wants to create an atmosphere of anxiety and panic which will, in turn, result in a disruption of the normal activities at the facility where the device is purportedly placed. Whatever the reason for the report, there will certainly be a reaction to it. Through proper planning, a wide variety of potentially uncomfortable reactions can be greatly reduced.

Handling Bomb Threatsprofessionals handeling bomb

  • Keep the caller on the line as long as possible.

  • Record every word spoken by the caller.

  • Ask where the bomb is and what time the bomb is going to go off.

  • Pay attention to background noise.

  • Listen closely to the voice (male or female), voice quality (calm or excited), accents and speech impediments.

  • Do not hang up the phone.

  • Immediately report the call to the management person designated to receive such information.

  • Turn off all portable radios and cellular phones.

Characteristics of a Parcel Bomb

  • Restricted endorsements, such as “Personal” or “Private”.

  • Names or titles that are inaccurate.

  • Homemade labels or cut and paste lettering.

  • Protruding wires, tinfoil or oily stains.

  • Excessive postage.

  • Rigid feeling or uneven appearance.

  • Unprofessionally wrapped using masking tape or string.

  • Endorsed with “Fragile,” “Rush” or “Do Not Delay.”

For more information on handling bomb threats…

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