9 Best Secure Mailboxes | January 2017
- invisible locking door
- mounting hardware included
- rear door magnet can be finicky
|Rating||4.1 / 5.0|
- available in several colors
- can be surface-mounted
- locking mechanism is easily bypassed
|Rating||3.6 / 5.0|
- easy to retrieve mail
- outgoing clip is concealed
- instructions are somewhat confusing
|Rating||3.8 / 5.0|
- metal baffle prevents fishing
- electronic lock is battery operated
- very bulky option
|Rating||3.8 / 5.0|
- includes reflective house numbers
- powder-coated to resist corrosion
- can only receive small boxes
|Rating||4.4 / 5.0|
- wide front door
- design complements any home decor
- no flag for outgoing mail
|Rating||4.4 / 5.0|
- corrosion-resistant hinges
- 3 keys included
- approved by the usps
|Rating||4.9 / 5.0|
- postmaster general approved
- rubber-sealed doors keep mail dry
- wall or pillar installation options
|Rating||5.0 / 5.0|
- built-in outgoing tray
- adjustable red signal flag
- high-quality lightweight aluminum
|Rating||5.0 / 5.0|
A Box Guaranteed To Deliver
When you think about it, mail is a very personal subject. Letters delivered to your home may seem inconspicuous in terms of the envelopes they come in, but what those envelopes contain is often quite personal, detailed, and sensitive. People receive bills, checks, new credit cards, personal letters, greeting cards with money in them, and other materials displaying your address or social security number. That said, to provide for the safe delivery of your packages without prying eyes getting in the way, a secure mailbox is the perfect answer.
A secure mailbox is a self-contained, locking receptacle into which your packages can be dropped to prevent tampering until you retrieve them. Depending on the box's style, your geographical location, and personal preference, secure mailboxes can either be wall-mounted close to the front door or they can be installed at the curbside. Those mailboxes capable of accommodating both incoming and outgoing mail are referred to as full-service mailboxes. Full service mailboxes often feature a flag or marker to alert the postal carrier and recipient that mail has just been delivered or that it is ready for pickup. By contrast, limited-service boxes can only receive incoming mail. Wall-mounted boxes are common in both urban and suburban areas, whereas curbside boxes are more common in rural environments.
Regardless of whether they're installed on a post at the curbside or attached to your house by the front door, locking mailboxes have several major advantages over simple mail slots. Firstly, mail slots can be messy. By messy, we mean that unless you have rigged some type of mail cage inside your home to catch mail drops from outside the front door or through your mail slot, you're going to come home to a pile of letters on the ground. This issue is exacerbated when you're away for an extended period of time while your mail piles up. A locking mailbox can solve this problem by keeping all those letters organized in one place.
Secondly, the locking box can store a large volume of mail in that one place over time. If you're planning to be away for several days, such a box can accommodate the accumulation of several days' worth of envelopes without being stuffed. Of course, you can also provide a key to a neighbor, family member, or someone else that you trust to retrieve your mail should stuffing be a concern.
Thirdly, a locking mailbox helps to prevent both mail and identity theft. With a locking box, only you have access to its contents. It becomes increasingly difficult for a thief to break in when the box is made of heavy-gauge steel and requires a key to access. Depending on their design, some locking boxes even have separate built-in compartments for pickup and drop-off.
Self-locking mailboxes have a single method of delivery through their main door that is set to be opened once by the mail carrier. Once the door has been shut, the box locks automatically. Upon mail retrieval by the homeowner, the box is then reset so that it can be opened again by the mail carrier the next day.
The Evolution Of Secure Mailboxes
Private mail slots and letterboxes didn't become common in Europe until the middle of the nineteenth century when the Royal Mail encouraged homeowners to install personal boxes. Prior to that point, people would drop off their mail through doors or walls at the local post office.
Until 1916, US postal carriers were forced to deliver mail to recipients in person. As an answer to this lack of efficiency, the US Post Office Department ordered every household to have its own mailbox or letter slot. As an additional attempt to improve service and delivery times, it was proposed that both business and residential mailboxes be mounted curbside or on fence posts. This became most beneficial for mail customers in rural spots, especially following the introduction of rural free delivery service in 1896. In places where the distance between homes and farms was significant, a mail carrier could now deliver mail to a central location along a rural route.
In 1915, post office employee Roy J. Joroleman designed a mailbox (known as the Joroleman mailbox) using light-gauge painted sheet steel with a domed and rectangular shape, a tunnel-shaped roof, latching door, and a rotating semaphore flag. Approved by the US postal service, this box became synonymous with functional design and still remains a popular style of mailbox to this day.
By 2001, the US post office approved designs for curbside locking mailboxes in order to help prevent a rise in both mail and identity theft. Most of these locking boxes were and still are produced from heavy-gauge steel.
Keeping Your Letters Safe
When investing in a locking mailbox, some of the most important things to consider are the box's construction, strength, and capacity. If you take a lot of vacations, definitely have extra keys, which you can give to the neighbors or a trusted family to retrieve your mail while you're away.
Some curbside secure mailboxes are also tall enough to feature adjustable or removable shelving, allowing you to customize their internal capacity should you have more mail coming in than going out.
One must be sure an outdoor locking box is made from strong, tamper-resistant materials like steel or sturdy aluminum. Not only will heavy materials prevent theft, but they can also withstand the elements, especially if your box is located curbside and will be contending with the rain and snow.