A bomb threat is a form of terrorism -- a threat to detonate an explosive. Often, such a threat is made via a telephone call. Although 98% of all bomb threats turn out to be false, and are considered crank calls, they should be treated as real until proven otherwise.

All bomb threats should be reported to the police. This should preferably be done by another person while the caller is kept busy on the line.

The following information should be obtained from the caller, if possible

  1. Where is the bomb located? Get precise description if possible.
  2. When will the bomb go off?
  3. What does the bomb look like?
  4. Who is calling? Caller's name, address, current location, telephone number.
  5. What telephone number have they called from? Check Caller ID or ask caller.
  6. Will caller report the bomb threat to the police?
  7. Will caller hold the line?

The authorities must decide whether or not to evacuate depending on the perceived seriousness of the threat. If evacuation is ordered, the bomb squad must be called out to search for the presumed explosive device.

Building evacuations due to a bomb threat often need to be accomplished by word of mouth rather than by sounding the fire alarm. External windows should be left open to provide presure relief in the event of an explosion. This action will reduce the distance that broken glass will fly. Mobile phones should be turned off until clear of the evacuation area as they can trigger explosive detonators.