There are several ways you could lose your mail. An unscrupulous person could be after your package or credit card details. If you live in the colder regions of Australia or a similar temperate country, your letterbox could be the unfortunate victim of a snow plower passing by your home.
What do you do in such situations? How do you protect your mail from both natural and man-made issues?
Fortunately, there are many ways you can keep your mail and parcels intact. Without resorting to extreme measures, here are a few actions you can implement.
Replace your mailbox
There are many types of letterboxes for sale to fit varying needs and preferences. Depending on the layout of your property, you can opt for a freestanding type, fence-mounted, brick-in, or one that is directly mounted to the wall of your home.
But buying a new letterbox is not just for show. Newer models have better features that can help protect your mail from damage or theft.
If you live in a hot and humid environment, a frame that’s manufactured from marine grade stainless steel can prevent rust from developing on the letterbox. Opting for a lockable model secures your mail until you retrieve them. Some models even have a telescopic sleeve, allowing you to view if there’s mail while preventing theft at the same time.
Fortify the foundation
Some homeowners see freestanding models as a more secure option when compared to wall-mounted types. However, the freestanding letterbox is not without its drawbacks. For one, the foundation tends to be weak.
When you opt for this type of letterbox, you need to dig deep and strengthen its base. Surrounding the post with a cement base can make the mailbox less vulnerable to damage or falling, even when hit with a vehicle or a snowplow.
You may also want to opt for a post that’s sturdier than wood or plastic. Wood may look homier while plastic is cheaper, but neither material may be strong enough to withstand extreme damage. A metal post provides better support regardless of the weather or external conditions.
Keep it visible
It is not unusual to find letterboxes being made to blend in with the surrounding area. The idea is to make it consistent with the design and style of the other elements nearby.
For instance, you may find a letterbox in the form of a miniature house or a bird box surrounded by shrubs or other plants. It’s a stylish and creative way of using a mailbox. However, doing so has its caveats.
Making the mailbox blend in with the background can make it less secure and more prone to theft. Be cautious about how you design and maintain this area if you intend to choose this option.
Eliminate potential hiding places for would-be thieves by keeping the mailbox visible. Trim any low-hanging branches or bushes to make the plants look neat. It is important to maintain a clear line of sight with your mailbox to reduce the chances of having your mail stolen.
Install a security system
It pays to have a security system installed if you feel that your letterbox is being tampered with or your mail doesn’t get delivered. There are online electronic shops that sell affordable CCTV cameras, hard drives, and other devices you can use to keep an eye on your mailbox.
Installing a security camera is a practical choice, especially if you receive a lot of packages or sensitive mail such as credit card statements. With the right system in place, it can keep your home safe from potential burglars as well.
Opt for the paperless route
The previously mentioned tips can help in securing your mailbox, but that may not be enough to deter would-be thieves from stealing your mail. To reduce the chances of people grabbing your mail, you may need to make some hard but necessary decisions.
Credit card statements, bank statements, and your utility bills may contain personal information that can easily fall into the wrong hands. Most banks and utility companies offer the option of sending electronic statements. You may want to take advantage of these offers and have fewer documents to worry about in the mail.
To sweeten the deal, some companies may even offer points or discounts to encourage people to go paperless. It’s secure plus more environmentally-friendly as less paper is used – a win-win situation for you if you decide to take it.
Don’t mail your checks
Some people prefer paying by sending checks through the mail. Mailing checks may have been a convenient choice back when technology was not that advanced. Nowadays, mobile devices are cheap, making it easy for anybody to take a picture of your check and use the numbers to make a payment.
For cash and check payments, it is best to avoid sending them by mail. You will sleep better at night for doing so.
Mail theft is a serious concern for a lot of homeowners, regardless of where they live. Follow these tips to help fortify your letterbox and prevent sensitive information from being stolen.
Jay Flavell is the General Manager at Sandleford Holdings. He has been working in the DIY & Home Improvement industry since 2007 and has vast experience sourcing and developing products from overseas suppliers in the Far East. Jay has also been successful dealing with a number of major DIY & Home Improvement retailers throughout his career.