A bomb threat or suspicious package may be made via telephone, letter, email, text message, note, or in person. The typical purpose of this type of a threat is to elicit fear and panic. All threats must be taken seriously. A suspicious letter or package may delivered without a threat being received. It is important to take all necessary precautions and activate emergency response for any letter or package that appears to be suspicious or out of the ordinary.


White text on brown background providing immediate actions to take around a suspicious package.

DO NOT use cellphones, radios, or electronic devices.

DO NOT handle suspicious package or other items.

From a landline, call Campus Safety Services at ext. 4444 or 613-520-4444.

Proceed as instructed by emergency personnel.


BE INFORMED. Be familiar with the signs of a suspicious package.

  • Unfamiliar return address or none at all
  • Strange odour or noise
  • Protruding wires
  • Excessive postage
  • Misspelled words, poorly typed or written, ridged and bulky letters
  • Addressed to a business title only
  • Excessive wrapping, tape, or string
  • Oily stains, discolouration or crystallization on wrapping
  • Leaking

ACCESSIBLE FORMS. Have copies of the Bomb Threat Procedure Form (PDF, 144 KB) printed and easily accessible to all individuals that may interact with the public or handle any form of communication (social media platforms, phone, mail, etc.)



REMAIN CALM. If you receive a call, text message, or have someone present in person – keep the individual reporting the threat talking and follow the Carleton University Bomb Threat Form.

CONTACT CAMPUS SAFETY SERVICES. Immediately after your conversation with the individual, you must contact Campus Safety Services at 613-520-4444 or extension 4444 from a Carleton landline. If possible, attempt to enable a peer or co-worker to make contact while you remain in contact with the individual.


DON’T USE ELECTRONIC DEVICES. Do not use radios, cellphones, or other electronic devices.

DON’T TAMPER. Do not tamper with the suspicious package as it is evidence of a potential crime and may be used by investigators. Do not handle, shake, smell, or taste it. Leave the letter or package where it is. If you come into contact with the package or letter:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water
  • Wait in a safe place until Campus Safety officers arrive

CONTACT CAMPUS SAFETY SERVICES. As soon as concerns are raised that a package or letter you have received or observed appears to be suspicious, contact Campus Safety Services by landline at extension 4444 or 613-520-4444.

EVACUATE. Get everyone out of the room that the package is located in and close the door.


HELP FIRST RESPONDERS. Provide emergency personnel with any additional details that you may recall about the person that made the threat or about the package/letter.

REMAIN PATIENT. Follow the instructions of emergency personnel. They will need to determine:

  • If the area is safe to return to or if further evacuations need to occur
  • If those that have come in contact with any substances need to go through further decontamination processes

SEEK HELP TO DEAL WITH TRAUMA. Consider seeking professional help to cope with the long-term effects of trauma.