'Remote detonator' Wi-Fi name leads to gym evacuation

Commentary: At a Michigan Planet Fitness, an unusual Wi-Fi name reportedly leads to a police intervention.

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


But thumbs down for the Wi-Fi name, it seems.

Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images

When you name your Wi-Fi network, there's a temptation to be funny. Or to think you are.

Then police arrive with a bomb-sniffing dog.

That's what reportedly happened Sunday evening at a Michigan Planet Fitness gym. As the Saginaw News reports, staff at the Saginaw Township Planet Fitness had their attention drawn to the Wi-Fi name "remote detonator" that seemed to exist in the gym's vicinity.

It's easy to imagine its creator finding it funny and someone else deciding it's not remotely amusing at all.

And so it was that the gym's staff were alerted by a curious, and perhaps concerned, member and called the local police. The gym was evacuated and the Michigan State Police arrived with its bomb-sniffing pooch.

No bomb was found and, indeed, there was nothing untoward at all. 

It's unclear who'd named the network and whether they were spoken to.

Planet Fitness and the Michigan State Police didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

However, the local police chief, Donald Pussehl, told me: "Saginaw Township Police Department did respond to Planet Fitness. The person was not there when officers arrived. No crime was committed. No further action taken."

It's perfectly legal to name your Wi-Fi network as you like.

It's wise, though, to consider that someone might see your creative name and either not like it or even report you. From there, inconvenience might ensue.

It's not even as if this Michigan wag was especially original. 

Two years ago, a passenger on a Qantas flight had the network name "mobile detonation device." The flight was delayed for two hours at Melbourne airport and then 40 people refused to get back on board. And yes, they wanted their luggage back.

In Saginaw, I wonder if the "remote detonator" owner changed their network's name or whether they're dining out on the tale. I also wonder if they'd be welcomed back at Planet Fitness.

First published April 16, 4:40 p.m. PT.

Update 5:23 p.m.: Adds comment from Saginaw Police Chief.

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