15 Things Your Mail Carrier Wants You to Know

Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stay these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.

These words are the official creed of the United States Postal Service. This motto perfectly describes the dedication of our postal carriers to try their best to successfully deliver and retrieve your mail no matter the circumstances. We rely on our postal carriers and depend on them to deliver our mail to the correct recipients, ensure that the proper pieces of mail are coming to the correct address, and guarantee that our mail is not damaged or late. It is important that we as customers of the United States Postal Service do our part to make things easier for our couriers and increase mail carrier safety. This will only improve mail delivery by helping the process be quicker and more efficient. The next time you go to your mailbox or prepare mail to be sent, stop and consider a few things that your mail person would like you to know.

Write Legibly

Mail Carrier SafetyIf you want to guarantee that your mail is being delivered to the proper recipient, make sure that you are writing clearly on the envelope.  Although it is cute to let your kids write on the card, it may be too difficult to read children’s handwriting so only allow them to write on the inside of the letter. If you have hard-to-read penmanship, allow someone else to address your letter for you.

Mail Carrier SafetyIf this is not an option, use typed mailing labels or invest in a mailing stamp that already has your name and address on it. Three Designing Women can fulfill all of your stamping needs with their beautiful, custom stamps. Available in a large variety of designs, you can choose a self-inking stamp that fits your style.

Mail Carrier SafetyWhether you prefer an intricate stamp or a more simple design, these self-inking stamps will look amazing on any piece of mail you send.  You can save both time and trouble by quickly stamping your return address on the envelope instead of writing it out every time you send a letter.

Mail Carrier SafetyThis will come in handy around the holidays when sending out numerous holiday cards. Three Designing Women also creates holiday stamps for you to add a special touch to your Christmas cards. Simply change the removable stamp clip in your self-inking stamp depending on the type of card you are mailing. Additionally, you can also change the ink color in your self-inking stamp to numerous color options to give your envelope a pop of color.

Mail Carrier Safety

Red Envelopes are a Problem

Mail Carrier SafetyIt takes longer for the machines at the post office to read the addresses on red envelopes. Although it is festive to choose holiday cards such as Christmas cards and Valentine’s with red envelopes, it may take longer for your mail to arrive because of difficulty in processing it. Likewise, addressing your correspondence in colored ink may also cause problems, so it is best to use a black pen when available.

Use a Ballpoint Pen

Mail Carrier SafetyAddressing your letters with pens that have a felt tip can result in runny ink if caught in the rain. It is recommended you use a ballpoint pen to write on your envelopes because the ink holds up better in inclement weather.

Don’t Use Staples

Mail Carrier SafetyIf possible, utilize the envelope seal or secure your letters with tape rather than staples. Even if put on properly, a staple can become disfigured and potentially stick or stab your postal carrier.

Buy Stamps

Mail Carrier SafetyThis may be hard to believe, but some postal workers have reported their customers who did not have a stamp to send their letter actually taped $.49 to the envelope to cover the cost of the stamp. Do not do this as it will delay postal carriers.

Postal Holidays are Observed

Mail Carrier SafetyAlthough we want our mail and we want it now, our postal carriers need days off too. The following holidays are observed by the United States Postal Service and no mail will be delivered or picked up on these days:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Martin Luther King Jr. birthday
  • Washington’s Birthday (observed)
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Columbus Day
  • Veterans Day (observed)
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day

Check Your Mail

Mail Carrier SafetyIt is important to check your mailbox for mail every day so it can regularly be emptied. It becomes difficult for postal carriers to fit your mail into your mailbox if you do not regularly retrieve your mail and your mailbox becomes overloaded. The United States Postal Service (USPS) offers an online service called Informed Delivery Daily that sends an email with a picture of the exact mail that will be delivered to your mailbox that day. This is useful as a reminder that you have mail waiting for you, but also allows you to keep track of important pieces of mail you are expecting. If you are going to be out of town for an extended period of time, ask a friend, family member, or neighbor to stop by your house and collect your mail for you.

Do not Plant Around Your Mailbox

Mail Carrier SafetyAlthough your landscaping adds curb appeal to your home, planting around your mailbox can cause several problems and decrease mail carrier safety. For instance, your postal carrier may have an allergy to specific plants that may cause a reaction if touched when placing mail in your mailbox. Other plants such as cactuses can be dangerous not only for your mail person but for anyone retrieving your mail.

Keep Area Around Mailbox Clear

Mail Carrier SafetyPostal carriers try to work as quickly as possible to deliver the mail to everyone on their route. It is important to remove any objects that you have in their path to prevent them from tripping or having to maneuver around obstacles. Make sure to pick up any hazards in your yard such as garden hoses, watering cans, children’s toys, etc. so your mail person can safely walk to you and your neighbor’s mailboxes. Similarly, if you live in an area that gets snow, it would be helpful and courteous to your mail person if you kept the path to your mailbox shoveled to remove or minimize snow buildup.

Move Your Car

Mail Carrier SafetyIf your only option is to park your vehicle on the street, make sure that it is not blocking your mailbox. This slows down your mail person because instead of being able to drive right up to the mailbox to retrieve and deliver your mail, they now have to get out and walk to access your mailbox and then drive around your car.

Properly Display Your House Numbers

Mail Carrier SafetyHaving large, clear, easy to read house numbers displayed on your mailbox will not only help to ensure you are being delivered the correct mail but also make the mail delivery system quicker. Instead of the postal carrier taking the time to try to wipe away dirt to see the house numbers or strain to read faded numbers, routinely check that the numbers are still functional. House number stickers are available at all hardware stores and are inexpensive so make sure to regularly replace the numbers on your mailbox.

Keep Dogs Tied Up

Mail Carrier SafetyDogs and other pets can be protective of strangers coming onto their property and this includes postal carriers. To ensure mail carrier safety and protect your mail person from animal attacks, make sure that your pets are secured inside and unable to get within biting range.

Dress Properly

Mail Carrier SafetyIf your postal carrier needs to drop something off directly to you, avoid potentially creating an awkward situation by making sure you are dressed properly when answering the door.

Keep Your Mailbox Clean

Mail Carrier SafetyYou may not think about your mailbox when cleaning but it is an aspect of your home that deserves attention as well. Mailboxes are dark and make a perfect environment for bugs to inhabit. You should regularly check the inside and underneath of your mailbox to remove nests that insects and animals create such as snakes, wasps, and spiders to protect your postal carrier from getting bit or stung. Also, remove any trash or items that do not belong in your mailbox. Grab a wet towel and occasionally wipe both the inside and outside of your mailbox to remove any dirt or debris.

Maintain Your Mailbox

Mail Carrier SafetyWith mailboxes being constantly exposed to the environment, they can easily sustain damage. Weather like snow, rain, and wind can cause mailboxes to become rusted, faded, and loose. The United States Postal Service recommends that you inspect your mailbox annually to repair loose parts, fix loose hinges to ensure the door opens and closes properly and replace missing or faded house numbers. If your mailbox is extremely old and beyond repair, consider replacing it altogether.

Mail Carrier SafetySimplay3’s Classic Mailbox is an excellent choice for anyone in the market for a new mailbox. The Classic Mailbox has many quality features. This mailbox is constructed of heavy-duty plastic that will remain free rust-free. You will also never experience difficulty opening and closing the door of the mailbox as the Classic Mailbox utilizes an easy grip on the door handles. Heavy duty magnets will keep the mailbox door closed and secure even during heavy winds and rain to keep your mail dry and clean.

Mail Carrier Safety

Mail Carrier SafetyWith a door on both the front and rear of the mailbox, you will be able to safely access your mail without having to step into the street. Available in several colors, you will easily be able to choose a Classic Mailbox to compliment the look of your house and yard. In addition to a post cover, adhesive mailbox address numbers and mounting hardware is included with your Classic Mailbox.

Mail Carrier Safety

Mail Carrier SafetySimplay3 has six different mailbox designs to choose from, each in multiple color combinations. Whether you are wanting a rustic looking mailbox or a more clean, silhouetted look, Simplay3 will provide you with a high-quality mailbox that is built to last. In addition to mailboxes, Simplay3 offers a wide array of products for both children and adults to enjoy. Made in America by American workers, Simplay3 is dedicated to providing customers with products that “reach, carry, hold, and support with strength, quality, and great design.”

Mail Carrier Safety


Installing a New Mailbox

Mail Carrier SafetyWhen looking for a new mailbox, find one that has received the Postmaster General’s (PMG) seal of approval before purchasing. If you choose to build your own, you must construct it according to the manufactured standards. When you are ready to install your new mailbox, there are several guidelines that you must follow for both the post and the mailbox.

  • Use a 4” x 4” stable wooden support.
  • Avoid supports like heavy metal pipes or concrete posts.
  • Do not bury your post more than 2 feet deep in the ground.
  • Position the mailbox 41-45 inches high from the road surface to the bottom of the point of mail entry.
  • Place your mailbox 6-8 inches back from the curb.
  • Put your house number on the mailbox with easy to read numbers.
  • If your mailbox is located on a different street from your house or apartment, put your full address on the mailbox.
  • If you are attaching a mailbox to your house, make sure the postal carrier can easily reach it.

For more information on why you need house numbers, check out The Importance of House Numbers.

Mail Carrier Safety


Sources: Postal Holidays, Mailbox Guidelines

Picture Credit: Sasha Staton, Pixabay



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Sasha, mother of one, never has a dull moment with her wild child and prefers it that way! Previously a law enforcement officer, she is now the spokesperson for a fire department. Sasha lives in Daytona Beach, Florida and enjoys running, shopping, and pool parties.