Safety should be a year-round concern. But with all the hustle and bustle to get ready for the holidays, it’s possible that safety isn’t the first thing that comes to mind for most of us.
For the U.S. Postal Service, safety is always a top priority. We have some tips that can not only help keep our carriers safe as they deliver your holiday gifts, but you and your family as well.
Around the House
Safety, of course, begins at home. You can do a few simple things now, to help reduce injuries during the holiday season. If there is snow or ice on the ground, make sure to shovel and salt your sidewalk and steps for sure-footing for both you and your carrier. Clear any snow or ice buildup from on top or around your mailbox.
For those of us in the warmer climates, snow and ice isn’t a problem. But toys, small pieces of yard equipment, yard trimmings, or other items on the lawn, walkway or steps can cause a tripping hazard or serious injury. While you might be able to avoid tripping, mail carriers may have their hands full of packages and could miss seeing these items. Take a moment to make sure your yard and walkways are clear of any obstacles to make it safer for everyone.
“Safety is everyone’s responsibility, and sometimes we can take it for granted,” says USPS Safety Director Linda DeCarlo, “Just taking a few extra minutes every day, to look around for hazards in your home or workplace, or learning proper pet ownership, can reduce injuries that would ruin an otherwise good day.”
Walk down just about any street on any given day and you’ll see someone walking their dog. Dogs are wonderful companions who bring joy and happiness to their families. But unfortunately, sometimes things happen, and the usually happy pup could end up biting someone.
Nearly 6,000 postal employees and a staggering 4.5 million Americans were attacked by dogs last year. Many attacks could potentially be avoided if dog owners would take a few extra moments of precaution. The Postal Service participates in National Dog Bite Prevention Week* every year and here are a few tips to keep you, your carrier, and your dog safe at the holidays and year-round.
- If a carrier delivers mail or packages to your front door, place your dog in a separate room and close that door before opening the front door. Some dogs burst through screen doors or plate-glass windows to attack visitors. Dog owners should keep the family pet secured.
- Parents should remind their children and other family members not to take mail directly from carriers in the presence of the family pet, as the dog may view the person handing mail to a family member as a threatening gesture.
- The Postal Service places the safety of its employees as a top priority. If a carrier feels threatened by a dog, or if a dog is loose or unleashed, the owner may be asked to pick up mail at a Post Office until the carrier is assured the pet has been restrained. If a dog is roaming the neighborhood, the pet owner’s neighbors also may be asked to pick up their mail at the area’s Post Office.
Additional holiday news and information, including all domestic, international and military mailing and shipping deadlines, can be found at the Postal Service Holiday Newsroom: usps.com/holidaynews.
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.
* National Dog Bite Prevention Week is a registered trademark of the American Veterinary Medical Association.