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Does Your Business Use a Roadside Mailbox? Ways to Keep Your Mail Safe

Mail Delivery

So, your business still uses a roadside mailbox, and if you’re reading this article, you’ve likely dealt with issues such as mail theft or mailbox damage. At the very least, you may be worried about a stray vehicle striking your mailbox, or wondering what could happen if your mail gets stolen. And it’s a legitimate concern that could cost your business money: the USPS states that mail theft has been rising in recent years.

Thankfully, even if switching away from a roadside mailbox isn’t an option for your business, there are practical ways to prevent mail theft and reduce the chance of vehicle damage and vandalism. When thinking of how to keep your mail safe, possibilities include:

  1. Switching mailbox type and/or location
  2. Utilizing multi-unit curbside mailboxes with other businesses
  3. Investing in locking curbside mailboxes
  4. Installing lighting
  5. Using reflectors or creative landscaping

1: Switching your mailbox type or location is a viable way to protect your outgoing and incoming mail. Curbside mailboxes are by nature the most vulnerable to theft and damage due to their location and construction, and you can’t simply move them back farther from the road, as the USPS requires that they stand between 6 to 8 inches from the curb.

Some businesses opt for more secure mailbox types that can be installed in any forward-facing or central location on a property. Horizontal mailboxes are common, as they consist of sturdy aluminum cabinets that each hold anywhere from two to dozens of customer compartments each. Single businesses can use horizontal mailboxes with a lower number of compartments, as models such as these exist that also include parcel lockers for USPS packages. These mailboxes can stand alone, recess, or mount onto vertical surfaces.

Installation locations can vary, allowing businesses to install on concrete slabs, kiosks, or in front lobbies. These locations are easier to keep well-lit and secure and are far less likely to suffer from vehicle damage. Horizontal mailboxes are also very sturdy and are less likely to need repairs than curbside mailboxes.

Just ensure that any mailboxes meant for USPS delivery are of the 4C-STD type, which are USPS approved, and in a location that’s accessible 24/7.

2: Utilizing multi-unit curbside mailboxes with other businesses on a property can help to cut down on maintenance costs and theft if you opt for locking models. Because these mailboxes hold more than one box, they often use two posts instead of one, making them sturdier than their single roadside mailbox counterparts. Another benefit of multi-unit mailboxes is that more mailboxes are in one location versus several, making measures such as adding additional lighting an easier affair than otherwise.

Multiple businesses (or offices within a business) using the same set of mailboxes will increase the number of people keeping an eye on the mailboxes, and leave fewer locations for thieves or vandals to work in.

3: Investing in locking curbside mailboxes is a practical step if horizontal mailboxes won’t work out well for your business, you have a smaller business, or if you don’t get a lot of mail. These mailboxes usually have a flap for the USPS to deliver mail, and a locking compartment that stores mail and small packages until picked up by the owner. For this reason, these mailboxes are often larger than standard curbside models, and of more sturdy construction than the average mailbox.

Locking curbside mailboxes works well for mail volumes that are higher than standard, but lower than that of a larger business. They’re also good for holding mail over weekends or during vacation times, so that delivery can continue.

4: Installing lighting is a well-known way to deter thieves, vandals, and other trouble near your mailboxes. In fact, it’s one of the best-known ways.

Making sure your business is well-lit, including at night, will deter vandals and thieves who fear getting caught. Ensure that your mailbox is under a working streetlight, near solar lights, or by some other form of lighting to keep it visible. It also helps if your mailbox is located away from too many bushes, overhanging branches, and other obstructions that can hide trouble. Your local law enforcement should be able to easily see your mailbox while driving past.

5: Using reflectors or creative landscaping can also protect your curbside mailboxes, should you need to use this type. However, what you can do will depend on your local post office and municipality, so be sure to check your local regulations before using any of these tips.

Reflectors are often used on curbside mailboxes in rural areas to prevent vehicles from hitting them, and if you can’t install good lighting around your mailbox, this may serve as a temporary solution before you can. If you do use reflectors or any other landscaping, be sure to keep the area around your mailbox free of snow during the winter, to prevent plows and other vehicles from hitting them by mistake in low-visibility conditions.

Some landscaping ideas include recessing your curbside mailbox into a stone wall or something similar, but whether you can do this will depend on your local regulations. Recessed mailboxes are especially protected from vandalism and stray vehicles, but this setup tends to only be allowed in low-speed traffic areas. Creating a stone wall or other structure can also be expensive.

Keep the area around your mailbox clear of weeds and other debris that can hide it from oncoming vehicles or prevent the sighting of other trouble. Planting some flowers or shrubs behind your mailbox is okay, so long as they do not grow very large, block reflectors, or obstruct the USPS from your mailbox in any way.

If you have questions be sure to reach out to us at National Mailboxes. As a property or business owner, you want to keep your mail safe, and we’re here to help you avoid becoming another mail theft statistic. Find the right mailbox for you today.