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Suspicious Objects

Suspicious Objects Emergency Information

Suspicious objects can be something as simple as a suspicious envelope, backpack or cardboard box that is out of place, or as obvious as a pipe bomb or other readily apparent explosive device.  The best defense against objects that pose a threat to safety is to be aware of your everyday surroundings and to report suspicious circumstances when objects appear unusual or out of place.  Terrorists attack their targets in many unpredictable ways and there is no way to anticipate when, where, why or how an attack might occur.

Potential methods of attack might come in the form of suspicious mail or packages, car or truck bombs, or attacks against mass services such as water, electricity, or communication systems.  Attacks can also be in the form of nuclear, biological or chemical devices.

Being prepared includes knowing whom to call, what information to take note of, evacuation routes, where to go for shelter, and how to get accounted for.  This basic preparation will greatly reduce the confusion and facilitate a quicker response and recovery.  You must also have a plan to communicate with family and loved ones so they know as quickly as possible that you are OK.

Some indicators to look for with suspicious mail are:

  • Unexpected or unusual looking package or envelope from an unknown person.
  • No return address or return address cannot be confirmed.
  • Envelope is lopsided, oil stained, or has powder residue.
  • Envelope is sealed with excessive amounts of tape.
  • Envelope has restrictive endorsements such as "private", "personal", "confidential", etc.

For more information, please see: Suspicious Objects Response Guide>>


Department of Public Safety

300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 2914
Public Safety