Survival Skills Blog & Off The Grid Guides

Six Simple Steps to Protect Your Mail

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When it comes to vandalism, there is not a greater item at risk than your mail box. It stands right
outside the house, almost on the road and is the perfect target for vandals. People can easily steal
your mail, which might include important documentation or checks.

Especially at this time of year with millions of dollars worth of tax refunds being sent out!

Mailbox vandalism has become a lot more common than it used to be. Anybody
can knock off your mailbox if it hasn’t been well built and is fixed properly in the ground, so you
have to make sure that you properly fix your mailbox in.

However, that still does not provide you with ample amounts of protection and care that is
required. Therefore, in order to make sure that your mailbox gets maximum protection and
remains safe from any sort of vandalism, here are six important steps that you can carry out in
order to make sure that you get maximum protection:

Always report theft

A lot of people do not really report theft of their mailbox property just because they think it’s
not worth the hassle. However, rather than just holding back the report, it would be best for you
to make an immediate complaint of any mail theft straight to your post master. By reporting the
problem, the post office will try to determine whether the theft is an isolated incident, or one that
happens commonly in the neighborhood.

Keep your mailbox in good shape

Rather than not paying much attention to what shape and health your mailbox is in, it would be
a wise idea to make sure that you keep it spruced up and as clean as you possibly can. This way,
it would give out an impression that you really pay attention to your mailbox, rather than leave it
in a disoriented condition. As a result, people will be more cautious since they know you would
check your mailbox daily.

Get Label 33

It would be a wise idea to get the Label 33 from your post office and then paste it to your
mailbox. The label 33 makes sure that any willful damage that is dealt to your mailbox will be
regarded as a legal crime, which might scare away vandals who are thinking of having fun with
your mailbox.

Reposition your mailbox

Rather than place your mail box virtually near the street, it would be a very nice idea on your
part to remove it and then place the mailbox closer to your front gate, hence making sure that
vandals would be more cautious if they decide to come near your mailbox. This might seem like
a very small step, but it goes a long way in preventing damage to your mailbox.

Get a metallic mailbox

Most people usually prefer to use wooden mailboxes, as they are more visually attractive and
go well with the exterior of the house. However, if you want protection, a wise idea would
be to have a metallic mailbox installed in your home. These are sturdier, more robust and can
effectively take a lot more damage as compared to standard mailboxes. You can even put a
lock on the mailbox in order to make sure that people cannot steal your mail or deal any sort of
damage to your mailbox.

Install a camera

Cameras scare away vandals like nothing else, and if you want to make sure that your property is
not vandalized, installing a camera overlooking your mailbox is a great idea!

These are six very important steps that you can undertake in order to make sure that your
mailbox remains protected at all times and does not get damaged at all by vandals!


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  • 0

    You state “you have to make sure that you properly fix your mailbox in” many cities require the mailbox post to be breakable by a car hitting the mailbox so as to reduce injuries. Creating too solid of a post, e.g., concrete block, reinforced metal posts, etc., can be a violation of a city ordinance.

    • Tracy says:

      Who gives a damn what some idiotic city ordinance says!! I have mine mounted so solid that a city snow plow won’t even damage it.

  • Craig Gunter says:

    My grandfather’s mailbox got busted up. My dad (a welder) decided to fix the problem. He took 3/4 inch steel and shaped it into a box with a back end and a door. It’s a functioning mailbox that my grandpa still uses. I would have loved to have been there when the idiots tried to smash it the second time. Instead of cheap thin metal that bends and dents, they found cold, hard, unforgiving steel. I bet that shook them up a bit.

  • kaytee says:

    In addition to what Ryan said… you may not be allowed to re-position the mailbox away from the curb. Many mail routes are set up so that in order to complete the trip on time, the mail carrier needs to be able to drive up to the box and drop in the mail, without leaving the vehicle.

    If you own your home, and aren’t required to have a curb-side box… consider getting a mail slot installed. Much more difficult to steal mail from one of those.

  • richard1941 says:

    I live in Hawthorne California. It is not possible to mail anything here after the post office closes. The outside drop box was vandalized so many times that the postmaster removed it.

    The Postal Authorities lack any will to install security cameras, intrusion alarms, or other defensive measures that might be considered “racist”. When they installed bullet proof windows a few years ago, the postmaster insisted that there was no security problem. “The shield is to protect our customers from violent postal workers.”

    For what it’s worth, the Post Office is across the street from Hawthorne High School, an institution that is consistently in the bottom 10% of test scores.

    • Tracy says:

      You said it, Richard! “…Authorities lack any will…”
      Welcome to the Spineless States of America. What a damn shame.

  • JMCERVINI says:

    What my sister and bro in law did after repeated vandalism to their box is pretty neat:they started with TWO mailboxes-a standard sized one and a larger one.the door was cut off the smaller one,they then held it in place inside the larger one.The space between them was filled with concrete;Sis put little decorative pebbles and do-dads to decorate the concrete…only the postman and whoever gets the mail sees that.There are marks on the outer skin of the box,presumably done by kids riding by with a baseball bat and striking it.Thats been it,no further damage.That had to be a real surprise for whomever hit it when they reinstalled it!

  • Al says:

    Our problem was the mailbox was at the end of a 1/4 mile driveway and not visible from the house. The first farm the driveway is through are the problem people. The nearest PO is 13 mountain miles away. We make the run once a week at best and onec a month after a snow.

  • Duane Rosekrans says:

    When visiting my folks one day, my dad said he had a project that needed my assistance with. So I was ready to go to work, until I found out that it was to install a new mailbox. My dad and everyone else along the state highway within 3 miles in both directions were constantly getting there mailbox hammered or run over by drunk drivers. So my dad gave me a fence pole digger and told me to dig all the way down to the top of the handle which was about four feet deep. Then he showed me the eight foot long 4 inch diameter galvinized pipe he was going to put in the ground. So we installed the pipe and waited for the postman to drive by to see what the proper height was to be. He said it was fine where it was at. So my dad proceeds to get some steel rebar from a leftover job to reinforce it along with some concrete. Job was done after he put a steel box on top of the platform he designed. Two months later I called to see how he and mom were doing when he told me that the idiot drunk driver who was responsible for damaging a lot of mailboxes along the road met his match when he ran into my dad’s mailbox. Not only did it stop him cold, but it ripped the fender off his car. The State Patrol loved it. That all happened before the day of nanny statism and frivolous lawsuits. Dad’s mailbox still stands today 38 years later.

  • SOG74 says:

    Some other suggestions from a letter carrier:

    1. If you rent and have an inadequate mailbox, and your landlord doesn’t want to replace it, replace it yourself – the cost is about 4 cups at Starbuck’s. And take it with you when you move.

    2. Make sure the mailbox will hold the largest amount of mail you get on a regular basis. If you get several magazines regularly, make sure they will fit inside the box without sticking out – clearly visible mail makes yours more attractive to vandals and thieves.

    3. If you’re going to be away for even three (3) days, let your regular carrier know it so he/she can make sure to hold your mail and not have a build-up – that’s also a signal to the thieves.

    4. If you get packages on a regular basis, get a special box (like the garden-hose boxes @ Home Depot or Tupperware) so we have a secure place to leave the packages.

  • Steve says:

    Thankfully my mailbox is in my garage door. Was attached to my house. All mail goes into container, never have to stop it if I go away.

  • Me says:

    Best advice: Rent a Post Office Mailbox at your local PO for important stuff, junk-mail can go to your home.

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