USPS Holidays

Safety is the Best Holiday Gift

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Letter Carrier Bobby Singh delivers mail in Gaithersburg, MD, during a snowstorm on Dec. 9, 2017. (Photo by Tom Ouellette, manager, USPS Strategic Communications). 

Holiday Safety Tips 

The holidays are the most wonderful time of the year… until someone gets hurt. The Postal Service is committed to the safety of our customers and employees, and we offer the following safety tips to make sure your holidays are merry and bright.

Clearing Access to Mailboxes

Rudolph may land on the roof, but our carriers deliver to mailboxes and porches. Whether you live in an area that regularly gets winter weather or you reside in a warmer weather climate, we remind customers to ensure a safe path for delivery.

Curbside delivery customers should clear snow, ice and debris from on top or around the mailbox. A carrier must be able to pull up to the mailbox, deliver mail without exiting the vehicle and pull away from the mailbox without reversing.

Door delivery customers should clear walkways, steps and porches to prevent slips, trips and falls. Customers should make sure snow and ice, holiday decorations, children’s toys, yard equipment and other obstacles do not block access to mailboxes and front porches, especially when carriers have their hands full with packages.

Tim Brown, letter carrier NC

Increased Delivery Volumes, Shorter Daylight Hours

The shorter daylight hours during the holidays coincide with increases in mail and package volume. We remind customers that carriers deliver earlier in the day and later in the evening during peak-volume periods. Keeping your mailbox and porch well-lit makes it easier for the carrier to safely deliver all your holiday cheer.

Don’t Let Furry Friends Ruin the Holidays

We understand that pets are a special part of the family. Many postal employees have pets, including dogs. Your furry friend may seem approachable and gentle to you, but can be a hazard to a carrier delivering mail because dogs are inherently protective of their owners and home. Nearly 6,000 postal employees were attacked by dogs last year, including dogs who seemed “friendly.”

Tips to prevent dog attacks:

  • If a carrier delivers mail or packages to your front door, place your dog in a separate room and close that door before opening the front door. Some dogs burst through screen doors or plate-glass windows to attack visitors. Dog owners should keep the family pet secured.
  • Parents should remind their children and other family members not to take mail directly from carriers in the presence of the family pet, as the dog may view the person handing mail to a family member as a threatening gesture.
  • The Postal Service places the safety of its employees as a top priority. If a carrier feels threatened by a dog, or if a dog is loose or unleashed, the owner may be asked to pick up mail at a Post Office until the carrier is assured the pet has been restrained. If a dog is roaming the neighborhood, the pet owner’s neighbors also may be asked to pick up their mail at the local Post Office.

Remembering these tips and taking other holiday safety precautions recommended by the National Safety Council, will help all of us have a safe and happy holiday season.

Marcus Bealon