Are Wall Mounted Letterboxes Safe?
As a supplier of wall-mounted letterboxes, we are often asked about security. Do external post boxes present more risk than through the door letter plates? In this article, we explore the subject of safety from a variety of perspectives.
Are External Letterboxes or Door Letterboxes more Secure?
In 1923, it became compulsory for every house in Britain to have a letterbox for Royal Mail to deliver post. Across the UK, it became standard practice to cut holes in front doors and fit letter plates. These allow mail to be posted into the property. In most other European countries, wall-mounted post boxes are far more common. Located next to the front door or in the foyer of multi-occupancy buildings, residents unlock to collect their mail. Which option is the most secure?
Security features on Wall mounted Letterboxes
Our customers are curious about how the design of wall-mounted letterboxes prevents thieves from reaching in and grabbing their post or breaking the post box apart.
Firstly, we advise you to opt for quality design. Our wall mounted letterboxes are all produced by specialist manufacturers in Europe. We work with them because they combine good design, strong materials and quality craftsmanship. The outcome is stylish and secure post boxes that have been developed to be resistant to opportunists.
To protect your mail from unintended recipients, we recommend that you seek out external post boxes that incorporate the following anti-theft features:
- A secure, cylinder lock
- A baffle plate
- A letter flap that closes with ease – not only will this be less tempting to opportunists, it also protects mail from the British weather!
- Made from robust materials such as powder-coated galvanised steel or die-cast aluminium
As further reassurances about post box security, look for models that comply with the European Standard for letterboxes EN 13724:2002*. Quality products will also be supplied with a warranty.
What is a Baffle Plate?
A baffle plate is a hidden feature; a small internal shelf, which can be seen when you lift the letter flap. It doesn’t prevent letters from being posted, but it does make it difficult to reach in with a hand or a tool to retrieve mail. Baffle Plates are often an integrated letterbox security feature and can be retrofit into most other models.
Wall mounted Letterboxes to Increase Home Security
Having an external post box can also heighten home security. The letter flap on the front door provides a means for thieves to gain access to a property or vehicle. Using a method called ‘fishing’ tools are pushed through the letter flap to hook or grab keys from the side. Another issue is using tools to push down internal door handles to gain access to the property.
According to crime statistics** there were 20,143 reported burglaries in England and Wales during January 2022. Could some of these be prevented by opting for secure wall mounted letterboxes?
If you prefer to stick with a letter flap, consider these safety tips:
- Add a draft excluder with bristles and a backplate (on the inside of your door) to limit unwanted access
- Position keys and other valuables away from the front entrance
- Take a look at your front entrance from outside. What can you see through glazed panels or the letterbox? If anything could tempt a burglar, reposition it out of sight
Protect Post from Unwanted Recipients
Not all unwanted recipients have criminal intent in mind. Letters through the door can be picked up by curious toddlers and loyal pets. Are chewed corners, ripped envelopes and important paperwork decorated with crayons an issue in your home? If so, a wall-mounted post box could provide the solution!
Protect Recipients from Unwanted Mail
When we think of unwanted post, spam mail springs to mind. All those leaflets and flyers promoting things that you have no interest in. A waste of paper and a waste of time. Opting for a wall-mounted letterbox won’t stop these from being delivered, however, this Which? article provides advice on what to do if spam mail is an issue.
Unfortunately, some deliveries are more sinister. Every Autumn, there is a spike in fireworks being posted through letter plates. Many cases of arson are started with a fuel and a light being posted and there are also cases of hosepipes being pushed in through the letterbox and flooding properties. None of these is an option if there is no opening in your front door.
What About Parcel Post Boxes?
If you receive more packages than letters, a parcel box is a more practical solution. Having a parcel post box will reduce the risk of deliveries being left on the doorstep where they are exposed to the weather or thieves.
These larger capacity parcel boxes have bigger openings, so, ‘fishing’ for mail becomes easier. if security is a concern, look for a quality design with an integrated shelf or angled design that limits access to the hold.
Safer for Postal Workers
Our final answer to the question, ‘Are wall-mounted letterboxes safe?’ relates to the people delivering the mail. Stooping down to post letters and parcels through low-level letter plates can take its toll. Back-related issues are a major cause of staff sickness in Royal Mail, accounting for 16,800 days of leave in 2018 and encouraged MP Vicky Ford to present a bill to Parliament*** in 2019.
The campaign did not become law, however, we can improve health & safety for postal workers by installing wall-mounted letterboxes at heights that prevent the need for bending and stooping.
Positioning wall mounted letterboxes at a higher level also reduces the ease of ‘fishing’. It creates angles, so thieves can’t easily reach in with a hand or a tool.
External Letterboxes fixed to Gates or Through Posts
Having a gate or post-mounted letterbox at the end of the driveway is another way to make things easier for postal workers. This can also reduce disruption if you are working from home or have a dog that likes to bark when anyone approaches the house.
For Gate and Post fixed Letterboxes, we recommend rear-access post boxes. The letter flap is accessible for deliveries, but mail slides back into the hold. No one can see if the hold contains any mail and the only way to reach it is by unlocking the rear door with the key.
Are Post Boxes Safe?
In summary, we believe that quality wall mounted post boxes can enhance the safety of your mail and the security of your home. Letterbox4you offers a selection of letter and parcel boxes, so you can find the perfect match for your property.
As a quality assurance, we offer a 2-year warranty as standard on all wall mounted post boxes. There is also a 30-day return policy should the box you order not fit your original specification.