Navigate Up
Emergency Services
Menu +

Mail Handling

Published on: 2/13/2013 4:19 PM

​Some basic caution is appropriate when handling your mail.  Learn how to detect a potential threat.

  • Unexpected or unknown origin.
  • Addressed to someone no longer at your address.
  • Incorrect titles, titles with no names, and misspelling of common words.
  • Handwritten or poorly typed address.
  • No return address or cannot be confirmed.
  • City or state in the postmark does not match the return address.
  • Lopsided or lumpy.
  • Wires or other unusual contents protruding or can be felt through wrapping.
  • Sealed with excessive amounts of tape.
  • Marked with restrictive endorsements (ex:  “personal, confidential, etc…)
  • Excessive postage or weight.
  • Oily stains, discolorations, or odors.
  • Ticking sound.
  • Powdery substance felt through or appearing on the package or envelope.
  • Treat item as a hazardous material.
  • Do not handle a letter or package you suspect is contaminated.  Stay away from the package, and do not shake, bump, open, touch, sniff, taste, or look closely at it.
  • Place something over it (trashcan, paper, etc…).
  • Leave the room and close the door.
  • Isolate the area and deny entry.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Notify law enforcement authorities immediately.
  • Make a list of all everyone who was in the room with the suspicious item.


(Attributions:  USA Freedom Corps, NCPC, & DOJ)