The U.S. Postal Service in the Los Alamos County area is asking homeowners to inspect and repair their mailboxes during Mailbox Improvement Week May 19-24.
“Repairing suburban and rural mailboxes improves the appearance of our community and makes delivering and receiving mail safer for our carriers and customers,” a postal service official said.
Mailbox Improvement Week calls attention to the need for providing mailboxes that are:
- Approved by the postmaster general;
- Safe to use;
- Conveniently located; and
- Neat in appearance.
Mailboxes that meet these four important requirements help delivery and collection operations and improve service to the entire route.
Some of the typical activities that may be necessary include:
- Replacing loose hinges on a mailbox door;
- Repainting a mailbox that may have rusted or started to peel;
- Remounting a mailbox post that may have become loose; and
- Replacing or adding house numbers.
Approved traditional or contemporary curbside mailboxes are required whenever a mailbox is newly installed or replaced. However, a custom-built curbside mailbox may be used if the postmaster gives prior approval and if the mailbox conforms generally to the same requirements as approved manufactured curbside mailboxes.
A mailbox should display the street name and house number or, if house numbers are not authorized, the assigned box number on the side of a single mailbox or on the doors of grouped mailboxes visible to the approaching carrier. The street number, box number, and/or any other address information must be inscribed in contrasting color in neat letters and numerals not less than 1 inch in height.
It is generally in the customers’ best interest to display their address on both sides of the box. Police, fire and rescue personnel often depend on mailbox information to locate people, and they may approach from a different direction than the carrier.