Protect Your Workplace: Learn All About Suspicious Packages

12Jan / 2015

Protect Your Workplace: Learn All About Suspicious Packages

suspicious-package-fb-shutterstock_127934030Do you know the warning signs of a potentially dangerous letter or package? And what to do if you come across one?

You can find out in just a few minutes, thanks to a newly revised“Suspicious Mail or Packages” poster developed through the joint efforts of four federal agencies—the Department of Homeland Security; the U.S. Postal Service and its Postal Inspection Service; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and the FBI.

Why the update? Before, three of our agencies were using similar but slightly different posters. To get all of the agencies on the same page—figuratively and literally—the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service spearheaded a campaign to have the single, identical poster we’re now making available to the public.

So what’s our collected advice?

First, be suspicious if you come across mail/packages with:

  • Protruding wires or strange odors;
  • Excessive tape or string;
  • Oily spots, discolorations, or crystallization on the wrapper;
  • Excessive postage;
  • Addressing mistakes and issues, including misspelled words, badly typed or written addresses, wrong titles with names, no return addresses, etc.

Second, if you do see one or more of these tell-tale signs, you should:

  • Stop…don’t handle the item;
  • Isolate it immediately;
  • Don’t open, smell, or taste it;
  • Activate your emergency plan and notify a supervisor.

Please take the time to read the poster for all the details. A few minutes of your time now might just save you or a co-worker from future harm. You can also pick up a free hard copy at your local post office.

For more workplace security posters, see the “Protect Your Workplace” campaign materials posted on the Department of Homeland Security website.

The above is an excerpt adapted from the article, “Protect Your Workplace: Learn All About Suspicious Packages.” For more information, please visit
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