Review Mail Handling and Processing

One of the best ways to minimize risk to your employees and the public, reduce costs, and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your mail center is to centralize mail handling at a separate location from the rest of your organization. Having a separate mail location reduces risk by limiting exposure to potentially dangerous mail to one location and fewer people. Having a central location reduces costs by eliminating redundancies in locations, personnel, and equipment. Establishing a trained staff to work at a single location increases the efficiency of your operations.

You should screen mail for suspicious items when it first arrives at your mailroom for sorting. Staff responsible for sorting mail by hand should perform the screening, as they are the ones most likely to notice a suspicious item. Unfortunately, screening procedures for incoming mail and packages are not foolproof. The person who first detects a suspicious package is often the intended recipient.

You should prominently display a list of suspicious package indicators in the mailroom and provide a copy of the list to all staff to ensure they become familiar with it. The Postal Inspection Service’s Poster 84, Suspicious Mail, illustrates key characteristics of a suspicious or dangerous mail item and is available for viewing and printing at and on page 17 of this guide. You can order copies for a small fee by calling 800-332-0317 and selecting option 4. Enter your phone number, then select option 4 again, and wait an operator will take your call.