With post theft on the rise in the UK due to more people receiving deliveries and gangs stealing bank details and personal letters to carry out identity theft, it is important to be vigilant when it comes to theft proofing the letterbox. Whether you have a wall mounted letterbox, a free standing letterbox or just your letter plate on the front door there are things you can do to protect your post!
Wall Mounted Letterbox
A wall mounted post box is fitted externally or internally onto your property wall and a secure letterbox option! They usually feature a letterbox plate at the top for the postman to deliver your letters which are secured in a lockable box underneath. Wall mounted letterboxes can be fitted as a single item or in multiples; which makes them great for people who live in shared occupancy or where there is a lobby for a block of flats.
Why use a Wall Mounted Letterbox?
A shocking 74% of burglaries take place through the front door, so it is vital homeowners do all that they can to prevent their home being an easy target for thieves. Wall mounted letterboxes are more secure than a letter plate on your front door and will help prevent your home being targeted for a number of reasons.
To prevent fishing: If there is no letter plate fixed onto your door there is no way a thief can peer into your home through the door and go ‘fishing’. Fishing is a technique used by burglars where they thread a long wire with a hook on the end to capture things in your home such as your house keys, car keys etc. giving them access to all of your valuables.
To prevent thieves from unlocking your door: If there is no letterbox for thieves to put their hands and tools inside there is a less chance of them gaining access to your property. Many thieves unfortunately have figured out that if they can access the interior lock, such as a thumb turn lock through the letterbox plate they can gain easy access to their victim’s home.
Energy efficient: As well as helping keep your home secure, wall mounted letterboxes help reduce heating bills as there will be no hole in the door from which the heat can escape!
Things to Consider when Purchasing a Wall Mounted Letterbox
If you are purchasing a new wall mounted letterbox it is important to consider these three things:
Size: Will your new postbox fit the usual post that you receive? Remember to include magazine subscriptions that are at least A4.
Lock: The more secure the lock the better, this helps prevent thieves gaining access to your private information. It is worth investing in an anti-snap lock, keep your eyes peeled for an anti-snap blog coming soon!
Finish: Ensure the postbox is made out of a durable, weatherproof material especially if your wall mounted post box is fitted to the exterior of the property.
Free Standing Letterbox
Free standing letterboxes are very similar to the wall mounted kind in terms of protecting your home and the things you should consider when purchasing one. They are preferred for those who have long drives or gated homes as this prevents the postman to have to walk right up to your property and they are often a very aesthetic addition to your home. As well as that, free standing letterboxes are often available in larger sizes for those who need it.
If adding a wall mounted or freestanding letterbox isn’t an option there are a number of things you can do to protect your home as best you can.
Hide your Valuables: The simplest way you can improve your security is by hiding your valuables and keys out of sight. If a burglar cannot easily see or reach valuables in your home through the letterbox or the window they will most likely give up and carry on.
Letterbox Cowl or Guard: Adding a letterbox cowl to the internal side of your front door prevents burglars from being able to see inside your home and prevents them from sticking their arm inside. Burglars won’t be tempted to steal what they can’t see!
Letterbox Cage: This fits around your letterbox on the internal side of the door and prevents post from falling to the floor as well as preventing burglars arms or tools from sneaking in!
Letterbox Homeguard: Similar to the cage, a homeguard is a fire-retardant bag that fits around the letterbox on the interior side of the door. Unfortunately, there are reports of homeowners being attacked with lit objects and fireworks being posted through their letterboxes, a letterbox homeguard will help keep the home safe from these attacks.
Letterboxes are found in the majority of houses, either in the door or mounted on the wall and it’s important to make sure they are secure.
Here are some points for you to consider when securing your letter box;
• If you are away for some time then leaflets and newspapers may be pushed through the door and build up. This will let potential burglars know that the house is unoccupied.
• If possible, install a letter box that has nylon bristles, this prevents drafts, but also stops burglars looking through into your home.
• It’s best to keep any keys, especially car keys, away from the front door. Burglars use a technique called fishing to reach them through the letter box.
• Install a restrictor or cowls to make your letterbox more secure. The design of these has improved over the years.
• You can purchase anti burglar plates that meet a TS008 compliance standards.
• If you’re worried about anti-social behaviour then you can install a fire-resistant self-extinguishing bag that will collect post as well as protecting your home.
• If you are really worried about your letterbox being a security weakness in your home, then consider getting rid of it and replacing it with a standalone letterbox.
Fishing is technique used by burglars to retrieve your car keys, wallet or purse. They fish a long, hooked, metal rod through your letter box, swipe your keys and make off with your car or personal belongings. This means you need to install a letter plate that has added security features as well as an internal and external flap that can withstand thousands of openings without breaking. A weak plate is more likely to be broken or removed, giving burglars better access to your home.
The Covid-19 pandemic means less and less of us are going to the shops, the result of this means that we have turned to online shopping more and more. You might not always be in when your packages are delivered and some delivery firms will leave your package on the doorstep in full view. Even if the package is hidden, a chancing thief might have a search for an unattended parcel. Hopefully you’ve not had to deal with a pinched parcel, but there are a few choices for preventing package thefts; well-placed CCTV cameras, gates and package drop boxes. These parcel drop boxes are one of the most effective ways to stop someone stealing your deliveries.
There are a few things to consider when buying a drop box;
You need to be sure that whatever box you get works with the space you have. Some could be too big, or are fitted in a way that won’t work for your needs, or it could be that you just don’t find the shape or style attractive. Some are also installed to be permanent and hard to remove, which might put you off.
a drop box is useless unless your delivery person knows that; A) they need to use it and B) how to use it. All of the major delivery companies, UPS, Hermes, Fedex etc have the options to give instructions to delivery drivers, so it’s worth checking that a delivery service you use most can be told about your drop box.
how will the drop box lock? Some boxes will come with the traditional latch for a padlock, while padlocks are secure, it can be a hassle changing the code and once your delivery person knows the code, it could be insecure. More modern lock boxes may be fitted with Wi-Fi enabled locks that have a built in scanner that can be opened when the delivery person scans your packages.
For more information on how to secure your front door, take a look at our Front Door Security Guide here!
Police Approved Post Box?
The government has stated that it’s considering changing the law so that letter boxes on new builds can no longer be low level. The new rules are likely to be similar to European standards, which require letterboxes to be between 0.7m and 1.7m tall. It’s worth staying up to date to whether these new regulations will come into play to ensure that your letter box is a police approved post box!
Make sure you are compliant with all UK letterbox law by following the guidelines here!
Did you enjoy this blog? If so, why not take a look at our other blogs here! We cover everything you need to know about security from keeping your home secure to keeping yourself safe at events!