Bomb Threat / Explosion

A bomb threat is generally defined as a threat to detonate an explosive or incendiary device to cause property damage, death, or injuries, whether or not such a device actually exists.

  • Most bomb threats are received by phone. Bomb threats are serious until proven otherwise.
  • If you receive a bomb threat by phone keep calm and obtain as much information as possible

In the event that you do not have a list present, these are the most important questions to ask:

  • Where is the bomb located?
  • What time is the bomb set to go off?
  • What does the bomb look like?
  • What kind of bomb is it?
  • What will cause it to explode?
  • Did you place the bomb?
  • Why?
  • What is your name/address?
  • Where are you now?
  • Note the exact wording of the bomb threat.

The key to preventing a bomb threat becoming an explosion is to report any threats as soon as they are received and report strange packages to the University Police as soon as possible.

In the event of a bomb threat do not use cell phones or activate fire alarms, as this may trigger an explosive device.


Signs of a Suspicious Package:

  • Stains
  • Extra postage
  • Strange noise
  • Incorrect title
  • Strange odor
  • Unexpected delivery

Please review the guidance from the USF Police Department for more information on identifying and handling suspicious packages.


If you are in a building that experiences an explosion:

  • Activate the closest fire alarm and leave the building immediately.
  • Do not stop to retrieve personal possessions or make phone calls.
  • If objects are falling around you, get under a sturdy desk or table until they stop falling. Then leave quickly, watching for weakened floors and stairs and falling debris.
  • If there is a fire, stay low to the floor and exit the building as quickly as possible.
  • Do not use elevators, always use the stairs.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a wet cloth or handkerchief. When approaching a closed door, use the back of your hand to feel the lower, middle, and upper parts of the door.
  • Never use the palm of your hand or your fingers to test for heat. If the door is not hot, open it slowly and ensure that fire and/ or smoke is not blocking your escape route before continuing.
  • Be prepared to crawl as smoke, poisonous gases and heat rise. If the door is hot, do not open it, but try to escape through a window. If you are on a high floor, hang a white or light-colored cloth outside the window to alert fire fighters of your location.
  • If you are trapped in debris, do not move about or kick up dust. Shout only as a last resort when you hear sounds and think someone will hear you. Shouting can cause you to inhale dangerous amounts of dust.


Information concerning evacuation will be disseminated should it become necessary. Many different factors determine if a building or residence hall will be evacuated. Public Safety officials will advise the community of the need to evacuate during an emergency and/or areas being used to temporarily house those being evacuated.