Code Purple: Bomb/Chemical or Biological Threat

Bomb or substance threats are usually a form of communication, written or verbal, delivered by electronic (email, fax, etc.), oral (telephone, tape recording), or other medium (letter) which are frequently used to disrupt business or cause alarm. In some instances, you may also discover a threat (suspicious item).


  • Because each threat is different, it is almost impossible to have a detailed procedure for each contingency. These procedures are designed to help you assess the level of the threat and, on the information available, decide on a course of action.

Remain Calm

  • Treat the call or substance as genuine and serious
  • For a call, attempt to prolong the conversation, ask for clarification as if you are unsure and ask caller to repeat
  • While you are on the call, try to attract the attention of another staff member and have them immediately contact Campus Security on (03) 9479 2222. Stay on the line and complete the checklist.
  • If you have discovered a substance or suspicious item, do not smell, touch or taste the substance
  • Immediately report the substance to Campus Security (03) 9479 2222

Checklist: Questions to ask the caller

  • Where is the threat exactly? Which building? Which level?
  • What does it look like?
  • What will make it explode?
  • When will it explode?
  • Did you place the bomb?
  • Who are you?
  • How can we contact you?

Take Note of the Call

  • Time of call. Is there a caller ID?
  • Caller profile (sex, age, is the voice familiar?)
  • Does the caller have an accent, speech problems or characteristics?
  • How does the caller sound? (angry, calm, irrational, drug/alcohol affected, abusive)
  • Does the caller appear to have knowledge of the campus – are they exact and specific?
  • Are there any background noises, music, traffic, sirens etc.?

After the Call

  • Do not hang up the phone
  • If Security has not already alerted, use another phone to immediately call the Police 000 and Campus Security (03) 9479 2222
  • Provide any notes taken from the checklist and hand it to Campus Security upon their arrival


  • Assist in the search for the device if requested
  • Prepare to evacuate if directed
  • If the device is found do not touch it. Notify Campus Security on (03) 9479 2222 and Emergency Services on 000