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How to React When You See a Suspicious Object

A PRIME Insurance Special

If you notice an unattended package, bag, backpack or other object, it could be nothing to worry about - something that has been innocently left behind in error. On the other hand, it could also be an item of concern. In this era where terrorism has become a global and national threat, it is prudent to report anything suspicious to authorities.

RELATED: What to do when a bomb explodes

Suspicious items may include:

  • forsaken parcels, envelopes, packages, boxes, bags and the like

  • items left behind in a public forum, such as a shopping mall, cinema or theater, marketplace, bus, train, transportation station, platform or train tracks

  • items left behind in partly concealed or odd spots

  • items that have protruding wiring, leakage, odd odors, or additional indications that they have been tinkered with


If you see a suspicious object:

  • do not handle it

  • do not shine a flashlight on it

  • keep your distance from it and advice others to do the same

  • refrain from radio or cell phone usage within one hundred feet

  • contact 911 right away

  • follow evacuation orders if they are given

  • jot down anything you recall about the object so that authorities can use the info to further investigation

  • do not panic

  • do not cause others to panic by speculating about explosives and the like

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Summary: Terrorism is a public concern, with every individual on the front line in detecting questionable activity. Prime Insurance provides these guidelines for suspicious packages.


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