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Bomb Threat

If you receive a bomb threat, it’s important to remain calm. Do not try to assess whether it’s a genuine threat or a hoax. Always assume it’s genuine. Even if the caller says it’s a joke, notify Security.

What should you do if you receive a bomb threat or think a package is suspicious? What should you do first? What information do you need to communicate, and to whom?

While it’s not possible to plan for every scenario, knowing what to do can help keep everyone in your facility safe.

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  • Be polite and courteous
  • Do not interrupt the caller and stay on the line
  • Try to get as much information as possible:
    • Location of the bomb
    • When it will explode
    • Why they placed the bomb in the building
    • The type of bomb
  • Note the number they are calling from
  • Note what you can about the caller:
    • Sex
    • Accent
    • How they speak
    • Background noise
    • Any other useful details.
  • Call Security to report the situation
  • Print and fill out the bomb threat form (pdf)

Bomb threat by email

If you receive a bomb threat by email, notify Security. Do not delete the message.

Bomb threat

In the event of a bomb threat:

  • all meetings and other activities must stop immediately.
  • Everyone in the building must return to their own workplace so an inspection can be carried out.

Special instructions for Building 26 (National Experimental Biology Laboratory)

  • Ask all staff who work in confinement zones to leave but do not create panic.
  • Close containers of infectious material and lock animals in their cages.
  • Leave the confinement area calmly following standard procedure.

If you see an object you cannot identify, do not move it.

Visual inspection

When you enter a room:

  • Listen for unusual or suspicious noises.
  • Conduct a thorough visual inspection:
    • Look around the entire room at ground level
    • Look around the entire room at waist level
    • Look around the entire room at eye level
    • Look at the ceiling to check for:
      • Ceiling tiles out of place
      • Light fixtures out of place
      • A/C or heating vents out of place
      • Finger marks
      • Damage
  • Once you’ve completed the visual inspection, inspect the room more thoroughly.

Work calmly and methodically so you don’t skip any parts of the room.

The best people to conduct a room inspection are those who work there every day.

If you find a suspicious object

See the procedure for suspicious packages.

If you don’t find anything suspicious

Remain on site and wait for instructions from Security.

Only take action if it is safe to do so.

If the bomb explodes

  • See the procedure for suspicious packages;
  • Call 911;
  • If you call 911 directly, it is important to call Security at your research centre afterward to ensure emergency responders are directed to the right place and to get help quickly.

Immediate assistance

4477 (INRS landlines) or 1-855-888-4477