Fall, A Wonderful Season, or a Painful Event?

By Mike Powers

District Manager, Customer Service and Sales

U.S. Postal Service

This is a beautiful time of year in New England.  But as the Postal Service works to provide the best service for you, we need your help to overcome the obstacles that autumn and the earliest days of winter can deliver.

The Postal Service is committed to the safety of our employees and the safety of the customers we serve. Our letter carriers are professionals, trained to perform their duties in a safe manner and we have policies in place to insure that our employees are operating as safely as possible in your neighborhood. One such policy requires that our carriers avoid backing their vehicles whenever possible. You can help by keeping a clear path for vehicles to drive up to and away from your curbside mailbox and by keeping your driveway clear of leaves, ice or hazards for anyone needing to walk up to your door.

Falling leaves in an array of colors add a blanket of pre-winter beauty to the New England landscape. But what lies beneath those leaves can be treacherous. Holes, garden hoses, branches, toys and curbs can be camouflaged trip hazards around your home. And if those leaves are wet, they can be as slippery as ice. That puts any visitor to your residence – including letter carriers – at risk. Homeowners are, of course, financially liable for injuries occurring on their property.

You can help protect visitors to your home by removing debris and leaves from walkways, promptly repairing broken stairs or walkways, keeping your entryway free of tools, hoses or toys that can become hidden hazards and insuring that your downspouts are clear and direct water away from walkways or driveways.

If a letter carrier feels threatened by a vicious dog or if a dog is running loose, the owner will be asked to pick up the mail at the Post Office until the animal has been restrained. If the dog is roaming the neighborhood, the dog owner’s neighbors may be asked to pick up their mail at the Post Office as well. Thousands of carriers are injured by dogs each year. You can help by following these tips:

  • If a letter 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
  • Remind children to keep the family dog secured
  • Do not take mail directly from letter carriers in the presence of a dog. Your pet may view the letter carrier handing mail as a threatening gesture
  • Be aware that ANY dog, even your friendly one, will bite if they feel that they, or their owner, are being threatened.

On November 1st the clocks roll back, reducing the number of daylight hours. Leaving a light on to illuminate any outdoor hazards will help your letter carrier to safely deliver your mail.

With your help, we can insure that fall remains a wonderful season and not a footnote on an injury report. Thank you for your cooperation keeping your property safe while our letter carriers continue to provide the First Class service you’ve come to expect.

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