5 Ways to Keep Your Packages Safe This Holiday Season
For me, one of the most exciting things about the holidays are all of the greetings and messages of kindness I receive, as well as the experiences and gifts I share with friends and family. Many of us will spend time writing and mailing our holiday cards to loved ones across the country and sending gifts to our nearest and dearest. I’m sure most of you, like me, will be trying to get everything to the post office in time for delivery on December 24.
Postal Inspectors know how important these cards and gifts are to you. That is why we work so hard this time of year to make sure each of those special holiday greetings and presents of love and affection get to their intended destinations safely.
You may be asking, “Who are Postal Inspectors, and what do they have to do with keeping my mail safe?” The Postal Inspection Service is the federal law enforcement and security branch of the Postal Service. Postal Inspectors safeguard the mail, the postal employees who move the mail, and the customers who receive the mail. We ensure that the billions of pieces of mail handled by the Postal Service each year find their way to our customers unopened, unread, and intact with the help of our Postal Police Officers, technical, professional and other specialized support. All of this security comes with the price of a stamp.
Since the holidays are fast approaching, and since it’s also the busiest time of the year for mailing letters and we’d like your help in spreading the word about how to keep your mail safe. Here are five important tips:
- Don’t leave your delivered mail and packages unattended. Just as you would not leave your wallets and purses on the front seat of an unlocked car overnight, mail and packages should not be left sitting in mailboxes or on front porches for any length of time.
- Going out of town? Hold your mail at your local Post Office. If you plan on taking a trip or know you won’t be able to check your mail for a few days, consider using the Hold Mail service on usps.com. Letters and packages will be held securely at your Post Office until you pick them up or request they be delivered to your home.
- Plan ahead. Ship using Hold for Pickup. When shipping packages, you can choose the Hold for Pickup option, and the recipients can collect their packages at their local Post Office. If you are expecting a package, you can redirect it to your local Post Office by selecting Hold for Pickup using Intercept a Package under Track & Manage on usps.com.
- Customize the delivery. If you know the package will not fit in your mailbox and you won’t be home to receive it, you can authorize the carrier to leave it in a specified location. Visit usps.com, enter the tracking number in Track a Package, and select Delivery Instructions.
- Secure the shipment using USPS Special Services. Signature Confirmation helps ensure the package ends up in the right hands by requiring a signature at the time of delivery. For your most valuable packages, you can opt for Registered Mail service. Registered Mail receives special handling from the time it’s mailed until the time it’s delivered, with documentation every step of the way.
For more great tips you can use not just during the holidays, but all year long, visit our website: https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/. I hope all of your special holiday deliveries get to the special people in your lives. Have a wonderful holiday season!