Friday, October 3, 2014

How to Spot A Suspicious Package

Would you know how to spot a suspicious package or bag versus someone just forgetting a bag or package on the sidewalk? What about reporting it... do you call 9-1-1 or the Office of Homeland Security? To clarify, I've noted some pointers below.

Suspicious packages might bear restricted endorsements such as "personal" or "private." If you work in an office building and you see these markings on a package, you should pay extra attention.

Ask yourself if the name and/ title is inaccurate on the mailing label. If you're looking at a bag, does it have any international tags on it or odd markings?

Suspicious packages or articles might reflect distorted handwriting or the name and address might be prepared with homemade labels or cut-and-paste lettering.

If you determine the package or bag is suspicious, do not move, alter, open, examine or disturb the article.

Do not put it in water or a confined space- such as a desk drawer or filing cabinet.

If possible, open windows in the immediate area to assist in venting potentially explosive gasses.

Isolate the suspicious package or article and clear the immediate area until the police arrives. Yes, you call 9-1-1 and let them direct what agency shows up. In the meantime, clear the area and wait for help to arrive.

It is better to be safe than sorry when you spot a questionable package or bag. Always report it, never chance it. Emergency responders would rather show up for nothing than not show up for something!

Twyla N. Garrett

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