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Postal service issues mailbox guidelines

Rural mailboxes are a common sight in America, but often they become damaged or broken either due to accidents or vandalism. The Postal service encourages owners of boxes to keep them in good repair.

The United States Postal Service designates a time each year to encourage customers to examine and where necessary, improve their mailbox. Neat, attractive mailboxes make a significant contribution to the appearance of the countryside and to the streets in the area.

Mailboxes should meet five basic criteria.

The box should be from a manufacturer approved by the postmaster general, designed to protect the mail from weather, safe to use, conveniently located, and neat in appearance.

A customer may use a custom built curbside mailbox if the local postmaster gives prior approval.

Customers should select a box that is of adequate size for their normal mail volume.

Rural type mailboxes must be located in a manner that allows the carrier to serve the mailbox from the carrier's vehicle.

The height of the box should be 38 to 42 inches from the roadway surface to the bottom of the box.

The box also has to be fastened to the post securely.

For safety, when putting mail into or out of the box, nails or screws should not protrude into the receptacle.

The mailbox, including the door and flag, must be in good repair and the approach to the box should be kept clear of trash cans, vehicles, toys, etc.

To help the carrier, especially new carriers and others find the right box, the customer's house number must be on the box.

The address should be in contrasting colors in neat letters and numerals at least one inch in height.

The address must also be on the side of the box from which the carrier approaches. The customer's name on the box is optional.

The postal service does not regulate mailbox supports in any way except for purposes of carrier safety and delivery efficiency.

The Federal Highway Administration states that mailbox supports no larger than four inches by four inches, or a two inch diameter standard steel or aluminum pipe, should be used.

Poles or posts should be buried no more than 24 inches, which allows the box to safely break away if struck by a vehicle.

The mailbox must also be attached securely to the post to prevent separation if struck.

Questions regarding mailboxes may be directed to a local post office.

The contact number in Price is 637-1638, in Helper residents may call 472-5281 and Wellington residents may contact the city's post office at 637-1425.

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