Bomb Threats

Receipt of a bomb threat is usually by telephone. While a threat may be received by mail or email, it is very uncommon.


Bomb Threat Procedure

During the Call

  • Listen and remain calm

  • Do not interrupt the caller

  • Attempt to keep the caller talking

  • Record as much information as you can while the call is in progress

  • Signal someone to call the police at 911 and Campus Security at 403.220.5333.

After the Call

  • Contact Campus Security at 403.220.5333 immediately and follow their instructions

  • Complete the Bomb Threat Procedure and Checklist

  • As you answer the questions listed on the report form, attempt to collect all of the impressions and information about the caller that you can. These include such information as male/female, old/adult/teenager, foreign or localized accent, illiterate/intelligent, speech defect (lisp, stutter, etc.), tone (high, fast, bass, etc.), and temper (angry, vindictive, joking, etc.)

  • Note any noticeable or predominant background noise such as heavy traffic, low flying aircraft, trains, construction activity, loudspeakers, cheering crowds, etc.

  • To the extent possible, write the exact words spoken by the caller in response to these questions immediately while recall is fresh. Note also which line the call is on and, if possible, whether the call was local or long-distance

  • Notify your supervisor.


Bomb Threat Evacuation Procedure

  • If you are advised to leave the building, evacuate to the nearest safe exit and proceed to your assembly point in the same manner as you would during a fire evacuation.
  • Take your briefcase, lunch container, purse, and small packages with you. This will decrease the number of packages to be examined by search teams if a suspicious item has not already been found.

Phone Threat

In the event a bomb threat is received by telephone, use this procedure.

If you are Located on University Property:

  • Attempt to keep the caller on the phone as long as possible and obtain as much information as possible.
  • Remain calm and try to speak in a normal tone of voice. Do not interrupt the caller.
  • Note the telephone number from the call display on your telephone, if available.
  • Use the Bomb Threat Checklist as a guideline to obtain and record as much information as possible. (MS Word or Adobe Acrobat format). Keep a laminated copy of the Bomb Threat Checklist by your telephone for easy and quick reference.

If you are Located Outside University Property:

  • Notify your immediate manager, or if unable to do so, the local police.
  • Relay the information exactly as you received it. 
  • Notify Campus Security at 403.220.5333 or email: assist@ucalgary.ca
    • Campus Security will then report the bomb threat to the police and the director of Campus Security.
  • Retain the completed Bomb Threat Checklist for the University of Calgary and the police.
  • Notify your manager of the call and the action you have taken.
  • Do not discuss the threat with any other employee in order to avoid panic.

Searching Guidelines

  • Do not touch anything
  • If directed to do so by Campus Security, assist by searching your area to identify strange or misplaced objects and unlock drawers, cabinets, etc, for search crew.

Suspicious Items

A suspicious item is anything that doesn't belong where it is located. It may fit into the surroundings or it may be totally out of place.

  • Unusual location or shape
  • Ticking noises
  • Threatening notes, unusual or unrelated wording
  • Unusual thickness, weight or size
  • Cut and paste lettering, improvised labels, or obviously disguised script
  • Unusual odours, sounds, powder adhering to the envelope or package, or oily/greasy stains or leaking liquids
  • The feeling of springiness, metallic components, or stiffeners in letters.
  • Excessive postage
  • Small holes, protruding wire, string or metal foil
  • Excessive wrapping, binding or tying materials
  • Unbalances or lopsided letters or parcels or letters that appear to have something other than folded paper inside
  • Undecipherable, misspelled or no return address/incorrectly to inappropriately addressed mail
  • Address to business title only (i.e. “To Department Manager” with no associated name)
  • Unusual or unexpected point of origin
  • Unusually restrictive markings such as “personal”, “to be opened only by”, “fragile’, “rush”, or “do not delay delivery” or inaccuracies in the address or title of the recipient
  • Fictitious return address
  • Excessive postage
  • Excessive weight
  • Rigid or bulky
  • Badly typed or written
  • Special endorsements
  • Lopsided or uneven
  • Protruding wires
  • No return address
  • Strange odour
  • Biological substances
  • Restrictive markings
  • Leaking unidentified liquid
  • Excessive wrapping tape or string
  • Mailed from foreign country
  • Sharp items: needles, nails razors
  • Ticking or unusual sounds
  • Melts or alters surfaces
  • Offensive mail (includes death threats and objectionable matter)
  • Unidentified powder, granular or sand-like substance on or leaking from the item
  • Crystallization of wrapping
  • Chemical substances
  • Addressed to title only
  • Oily stains/discoloration

Upon Location of a Suspicious Package

If any doubt exists of its contents:

  • Do not touch, move, open, or disturb the item
  • Turn off all cell phones or pagers as they could accidentally set the device off
  • Immediately contact Campus Security at 403.220.5333 and contact the local police at 911
  • The police will determine if anyone is responsible for the suspicious item.

Written Threat

  • Handle the item as little as possible to facilitate finger print analysis.
  • Contact Campus Security at 403.220.5333
  • Contact the police at 911