U.S. Mail delivery person (used to be a Mailman) is mentioning to all the
people on the block that we get a larger and more secure mailbox. All kinds
of things come to mind about secure. Does any place make and or sell a
mailbox that you can bolt to the side of the house that doesn't allow
someone to just go in there and empty it out? He was recommending a larger
slot since the one I have is a slot on the side of the house that drops the
mail inside. That sounds like a big project with widening the slot on the
side of the house and making a larger chute to accommodate it.
What I meant to say is I don't know if they still call themselves mailmen.
You know, like stewardess is now flight attendant. I didn't want to offend
any postal workers. I like the style of mail slot I have got now, but he
pointed out that he can't get all the mail in the slot. It's small and
doesn't take things like check boxes well or large envelopes. I know a lot
of people around here get their mail stolen for the information or even
packages. One guy down the street built a large, locked, box just for
packages. My mailman hides them behind my garbage cans now.
If you go to http://www.google.com and do a search for "locking mailboxes"
(with the quotes), you'll see lots of websites that sell them. I looked at
the prices and I think you'll opt for enlarging the mail slot on the side of
I've seen larger boxes at Lowes and the Big Orange Borg which allow mail in,
but not out w/o a key. They're probably all keyed alike though.
As far as packages though, if theft is a problem have the PO hold anything
that doesn't fit and drop off a notification-to-pick-up slip in your mail.
Maybe a Golden Retriever size pet door?
No -- the USPS does not unlock and lock individual mailboxes, only
carrier boxes and apartment box access.
Your mailbox access panel has an individual key. The USPS will not
deliver mail to fully locked mailboxes.
I think mail slots were designed before we began to get stacks of
thick catalogues and magazines which doubtless have to be individually
folded up and crammed through a small inlet. A search on 'mailbox
secure' turned up a number of hits. Looks as if there are a number of
outside-mounted, locking boxes that work more or less like the large,
blue USPS boxes -- easy to put stuff *into*, hard to retrieve without
They're called "letter carriers" now. I think "mailman" is OK (as long
as they're male!), but "postal worker" has gotten a bad connotation.
The USPS has since 2000 issued new regs for mailboxes attached to homes
and curbside (this year, they're working on apartment houses), and
manufacturers have now been through the re-certification process and may
use a USPS Approved sticker if they have. The new regs explicitly allow
for a "Lockable" class of mailbox.
> Does any place make and or sell a mailbox that you can bolt to the
> side of the house that doesn't allow someone to just go in there and
> empty it out? He was recommending a larger slot since the one I have
> is a slot on the side of the house that drops the mail inside. That
> sounds like a big project with widening the slot on the side of the
> house and making a larger chute to accommodate it. Dave
This may just be a subtle way of encouraging better access for the
carriers as the USPS has long persuaded new development to have mailbox
clusters rather than at every door. Do your neighbors have curbside
while you have a door slot?
However: "The list of approved manufacturers of curbside mailboxes
should be shared with delivery personnel and customers. If a customer is
currently using a mailbox that is not on the approved list, they cannot
be forced to replace the mailbox unless it poses a hazard to the carrier
or does not protect the mail. Encourage your customers to replace old
and damaged mailboxes quickly." -- postal operations manual
As for size, the only requirement seems to be "able to accept the postal
customer's normal mail volume".
So if you want to leave it as is, you're just fine. If you do want to
increase the size you're welcome to as well. You do NOT have to get an
exterior mailbox at this time unless you think it would be better.
The new lockable designs allow for mail to "drop in" to a secure part of
the mailbox that you can access with a keyed door.
Well, lots of good ideas here. All the houses on my block (and the
surrounding blocks) where built in the late 50s and all of them have mail
slots on the side of the house with a flap door that sends the mail through
an inside chute to a small area inside the living room/hall closet. It's
very secure, but won't handle a few days worth of stuff or big envelopes.
After looking at some of the sites suggested here, I don't think I can get a
better setup without dropping some big coins and involving lots of work. My
"Letter Carrier" seemed to be concerned with the safety of larger mail
parcels and packages, which he always leaves next to the house behind the
garbage cans. The packages worried me, but if I lose sleep over it I
suppose I can request they not leave anything there and drop me a note to
pick it up instead.
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