Suspicious packages are found every day, all across the country and while the majority of the time these packages are deemed harmless, there’s still always a chance that the package could be life-threatening or cause damage to property. That’s why it’s so important to be prepared and educated on how your company should go about handling a suspicious package, in the event one shows up at your door.  


How to Spot a Suspicious Package

Spotting a suspicious package is not as challenging as one might think, by simply being observant you should be able to identify a suspicious package quickly and mitigate your risk for further issues.

Here is what you should look for when trying to identify a suspicious package:

  • Inaccurate spelling – Often times, a key feature of a suspicious mail or packages is inaccurate spelling of names, titles and locations.
  • No return address – If someone is sending a life-threatening package, they likely won’t be giving you a return address, so be sure to double check this when you receive a package with no return address.
  • Excessively marked packages – Packages that have “RUSH: Do not delay,” “Personal,” or “Confidential” should be carefully looked at.
  • Postmarked different than return address – If the postmarked location is different than the return address, that is a sign that the letter or package is suspicious.
  • Unprofessionally wrapped packages – If the package uses an excessive amount of tape, strings etc. then you should be wary of the package.
  • Excessive postage – If an envelope or package has an excessive amount of postage that is a warning sign that the item might be suspicious.
  • Buzzing or ticking sound – This one goes without saying, but if the package is making a buzzing, ticking or any other odd noise, you definitely should not open it.

To learn more about what to look out for when trying to identify suspicious mail or packages, click here.


How Do I Handle a Suspicious Package?

Once you have identified that the package you have received looks a bit suspicious, then you need to take the proper precautions until authorities arrive. Here are a few things you can do in the meantime:

  • Do not open the suspicious letter or package
  • If contents have spilled, do not touch, sniff, taste or get very close to it
  • Do not touch your face or anyone else before washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Isolate the package and leave the immediate area
  • Write down what was suspicious about the package while you wait for authorities to arrive.
  • Make a list of everyone who has had contact with the package.
  • Do not move, open or disturb the package or envelope in any way
  • Do not put the item in a confined space or put it in water
  • Open windows, if possible to assist in venting the exposed area

To learn more about how to handle a suspicious package, click here.

If you have reason to believe that a package or envelope is suspicious, do not chance it. While yes, the possibility of it being dangerous is slim, it’s better to be safe than sorry. You should immediately call 911 and clear the immediate area until the police have arrived.


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