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Nothing can protect you from the very real threat of identity theft better than a secure, sturdy mailbox. An attractive mailbox can also add to the appearance of your house or driveway.

Mailboxes should protect your mail from the weather, be easy to open and close, and be large enough to hold the amount and size of mail you generally receive. They should be made from a non-rusting metal, such as stainless steel, brass, or powder coated cast aluminum or from a wood that will resist rotting, such as cedar or painted pine.

Consider the following when buying a mailbox:

  • Mailboxes for rural areas usually sit by the side of the road, and so they need to be mounted on a secure metal or wooden post. Be careful to site the post and box so that the postman can reach it from the mail vehicle, but do not put it so close to the road that it is easily struck by passing traffic. These mailboxes should have a noticeable flag welded to the side that can be raised to alert the postman that outgoing mail is in the box. Make sure that the box is large enough to accommodate small packages.
  • Mailboxes that sit at the end of a driveway can be installed in stone or brick columns. They are usually made of metal and can be ordered so that the mail can only be retrieved be unlocking the box with a key. These mailboxes make a handsome addition to any property, but they are more expensive to install than other types of mailboxes.
  • In areas where the postman delivers the mail on foot, it is most common to mount the mailbox on the exterior of the house, usually near a doorway. These mailboxes are manufactured in a large variety of sizes and styles, but they should be made from a weather resistant material. Manufacturers that specialize in mailboxes make very attractive models that can reflect the architectural style of the house, such as Colonial, Victorian or sleekly modern. It is important to make sure that any mailbox you buy can be securely mounted to the wall of your house. For additional security consider purchasing a mailbox that can only be opened with a key.

Mail can also be delivered through a mail slot installed in a door or wall, but this will limit the size of the mail that can be pushed through the slot and may create a heating / cooling leak unless you buy a specially insulated model.

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