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Bomb Squad FAQ

What should I do if I receive a bomb threat over the telephone?
Bomb threats represent a potentially serious and deadly situation that can turn tragic very quickly. The destructive potential of even a small device must be seriously considered. Any citizen that receives a bomb threat over the phone should immediately dial *57 on the phone's key pad to electronically flag the last incoming call with their phone carrier.  Call 911 to notify the police.  Police officers will respond to give assistance regarding bomb threat procedures and options and to initiate an investigation.  Only conventional telephones should be used, because cellular telephone transmissions have the potential to detonate a bomb.  The initial decision to evacuate an area is the responsibility of the resident, business manager or supervisor.

What should I say to the person who calls in a bomb threat at my location?  
When a bomb threat is called in, you should attempt to keep the caller on the line as long as possible. Ask the caller to repeat the message and be sure to record every word spoken. If the caller does not indicate the location of the bomb or the time of detonation, you should ask for this information. It is a good idea to inform the caller that the building is occupied and the detonation of a bomb could result in death or serious injury to innocent people. As you attempt to keep the caller on the line, listen for any particular background noises such as motors running, background music, or other noise that may give a clue as to the location of the caller. As you are gathering information about the caller write down as much information as possible. As the caller speaks, listen closely to the voice quality, for any regional accents, and for any speech impediments the caller might possess.  When the police arrive at your location, be prepared to give an accurate description of the caller's voice. 

How do I (we) search for a bomb?
Searching for a bomb can be a relatively simple exercise. CMPD's Bomb Squad will provide training for groups and businesses that need additional information. The key to a successful search is to have people that are familiar with the area do the search, and they should look for items that are out of place, do not belong, or are suspicious. 

What does a bomb or suspicious package look like? 
The key to this question is to understand if the item is out of place or unusual. Individuals have their own interpretation of what is suspicious, and almost any item or package could contain an explosive device. Bombs can be constructed to look like almost any item and can be delivered in a number of ways. Most bombs are homemade and are limited in their design only by the imagination of their maker/bomber.

Bombs can be detonated by a variety of methods including the slightest touch. Therefore, if any suspicious object is located, THE DEVICE SHOULD NOT BE TOUCHED OR DISTURBED UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. 

What should I do if I receive a suspicious package in the mail?
Immediately evacuate the location and notify the police from a neighbor's house or adjoining business. Only conventional telephones should be used, since cellular telephone transmissions have the potential to detonate a bomb.

There are specific characteristics that a person can look for that may indicate a possible explosive device.

     - Foreign mail, airmail and special delivery
     - Restrictive markings such as confidential, personal, etc.
     - Excessive postage
     - Hand written or poorly typed addresses
     - Incorrect titles
     - Titles but no names
     - Misspellings of common words
     - Oily stains or discoloration
     - No return address
     - Excessive weight
     - Rigid envelope
     - Lopsided or uneven envelope
     - Protruding wires or tinfoil
     - Excessive securing material such as masking tape, string, etc.
     - Visual distractions

What should I do if I find a possible bomb or explosive device?
If any suspicious object is located, THE DEVICE SHOULD NOT BE TOUCHED OR DISTURBED UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE. Immediately evacuate the location and notify the police from a neighbor's house or adjoining business. Only conventional telephones should be used as cellular telephone transmissions have the potential to detonate a bomb.

When does the Bomb Squad respond to a call? 
The Bomb Squad responds at the request of the on-scene police supervisor, whenever a suspected explosive/hazardous device is found or if the situation immediately dictates a response.

Are fireworks considered explosive devices? 
Fireworks are considered explosive devices, and they are extremely dangerous. Every year many children and adults are injured or burned as a result of improperly using or playing with fireworks. Fireworks are illegal in North Carolina.