|Some typical characteristics that should trigger suspicion include parcels that:
- Are unexpected or from someone unfamiliar to you.
- Are outdated or addressed to someone no longer with your department or the University (e.g., improper title).
- Have excessive postage, handwritten or poorly typed.
- Bear no return address, or one that can't be verified as legitimate.
- Are of unusual weight, disproportionate to its size, or is lopsided.
- Are marked with restrictive endorsements, such as "Personal" or "Confidential".
- Exhibit protruding wires, strange odours, stains, or powders.
- Indicate a city, province or country in the postmark that doesn't match the return address.
- Have excessive string or tape to hold together.
Also keep an eye out for suspicious vehicles that may have the following characteristics:
- Low riding vehicles, especially with disproportionate weight towards the back of the vehicle.
- Vehicles left running with no driver.
- Vehicles parked haphazardly in apparent effort to hurriedly ditch, instead of properly park the vehicle.
What should I do if I've received a suspicious parcel/mail?
- DO NOT TOUCH the package as this could destroy fingerprints.
- Notify your supervisor or instructor.
- DO NOT USE cell phones or two-way radios near the package.
- IMMEDIATELY notify York University Security Services from a landline telephone at extension 33333 or 416-736-5333 and provide the following information
- The department name and floor number.
- Details of the suspicious package.
- Your name and telephone number.
- York University Security Services will conduct a threat assessment to determine the appropriate response.
What should I do if I receive an anthrax threat by mail?
- Notify your supervisor and York University Security Services.
- York University Security Services will contact the Department of Occupational Health and Safety and Toronto Police Services for threat assessment and response.
- Do not attempt to clean up any powder that may have spilled.
- Keep staff out the area in which the parcel is contained.
- Isolate anyone who has been exposed directly to or touched the parcel/mail or powder.
- Wash your hands with soap and water.
- Ensure that all persons who have touched the letter wash their hands with soap and water only.
- List all persons who have touched the letter or package including their contact information and provide the list to the investigating agency.
- Remove contaminated clothing as soon as possible and place in a plastic bag, or other sealed container and have available for the Police, should they request.
- Shower with soap and water.
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible.
- If the mail or parcel contains other types of hazardous materials, see HAZARDOUS MATERIALS
How To Handle Mail In Your Area That Will Enhance Safety:
- Do not leave mail unattended.
- Secure mail whenever possible.
- Be alert to any suspicious activity or persons who are in the vicinity of mail.