Fortunately, the vast majority of bomb threats are false alarms. Unfortunately, it is difficult to differentiate false alarms from genuine threats. As little publicity as possible should be given to the incident since the objective of the caller is usually to disrupt normal business functions by causing the Building to be evacuated. There are at least two reasons why bomb threats are a serious problem:
- Serious personal injury can result if an explosive or fire generating device is activated.
- Valuable work time is lost during building evacuations.
It is important to relate the instructions below not only to Tenant Emergency Response Team members but also to all individuals answering the telephones at your company.
If you receive a bomb threat call, you should:
- Gather as much information as possible.
- Keep the caller on the line as long as possible obtaining as much information as you can. Do not disengage the telephone extension on which the call is received. Tracing capabilities may be lost once the connection is terminated.
- Tell the caller the Building is occupied and that the bomb might cause the death of innocent people.
- Listen for background noises.
- At the conclusion of the call, follow Bomb Threat Notification Procedures
The safety precautions below will acquaint you with inherent dangers of the search, discovery and handling of suspected bombs. During a bomb threat emergency:
- Do not use two-way radios. They are capable of detonating some explosive devices.
- Do not manipulate light fixtures.
- Do not smoke.
- Do not assume the contents of any container simply because it is delivered in a routine manner.
- Do not touch a suspected bomb. Do not assume a suspected bomb is a specific type.
- On suspicious objects/containers - do not cut strings, cords or wires; do not remove wrappers; do not unscrew covers; do not move latches or hooks; and do not change its position.
- Do not place suspicious objects/containers into water.
Bomb Threat Evacuation
If a non-descriptive bomb threat is received (no detonation time, no location etc.), the Building will remain open. The decision to evacuate is then the responsibility of each Tenant. If the decision is made to evacuate, please advise the Management Office. Total Evacuation may be necessary when the threat is specific in nature, the call cannot be resolved as a hoax, or a suspicious object is located.
Important – If you determine that your employees are in imminent danger and you cannot reach the Management office by telephone in a reasonable length of time, you may determine it prudent to move or evacuate without being given specific routes to follow.
Follow Evacuation procedures listed in the Evacuation section of this manual remembering to:
- Identify and give priority to nervous, emotional, or ill persons.
- Establish a meeting in the Safe Refuge Area with personnel to perform a roll call.
- Listen for instructions given over the Building’s public address system.
After a Bomb Threat emergency
Ask you employees if they encountered any special problems or incidents during the emergency. If so, they should prepare a brief written report for prompt submission to the Management Office.
Prepare a brief written report of your efforts and actions in response to the threat including any special problems or incidents that you experienced. Promptly submit the report to the Management Office.