Go to content

Bomb Threats

Bomb threats and other threats of violence are serious emergencies that required prompt attention. Although bomb threats are rare, they are most likely to occur during final exams. The following sections offer guidance for handling bomb threats.

How to Handle a Threatening Phone Call

If you receive a bomb threat over the phone, remain calm and act courteous. If feasible, notify another person to listen on another extension. Take notes on the caller's threat, tone, voice characteristics, and background noise. If the caller seems talkative, ask questions such as the following:

  • When will the bomb go off? How much time remains?
  • Where is the bomb located?
  • What kind of bomb is it?
  • How do you know about this bomb?
  • What is your name?
  • Do you know there are people in the building who could be hurt or killed?

IMPORTANT: If you receive a threatening phone call, remain calm and take notes. Try to find out as much as possible about the caller and threat.

The following form is an example of sounds to note while the caller is on the phone:

Caller’s Identity
Male _____ Female _____ Approximate Age_____
Voice Characteristics
Loud Voice _____ Soft Voice _____ Intoxicated _____
High Pitched Voice _____ Low Pitched Voice _____  
Local Accent _____ Foreign Accent _____ Race _____
Fast Speech _____ Slow Speech _____ Distinct Speech _____
Slurred Speech _____ Nasal Speech _____ Lisp Speech _____
Normal Speech _____ Nasal Speech _____ Lisp Speech _____
Calm _____ Angry _____ Rational _____
Irrational _____ Coherent _____ Incoherent _____
Emotional _____ Laughing _____  
Language / Grammar
Excellent Grammar _____ Good Grammar _____ Fair Grammar _____
Poor Grammar _____ Foul Grammar _____  
Background Noises
Voices in Background
Music in Background ______ Animals in Background
Street Traffic in Background _____