Mailbox burglary is more common than publically estimated - and it can be quite serious, as if valuable information is stolen from your mail, you can experience identity theft and a whole slew of stressful theft related situations. Here’s a guide to the important facts that you absolutely need to know before you install a lock on your mailbox - or ask a licensed commercial locksmith expert at Chicago Locksmiths to help you do so.
What type of lock will you use?
You first need to decide which lock device method you will use - from locksets and padlocks to locking mailboxes. Padlocks aren’t usually well suited for locking mailboxes, and can only work on a few that have a portion that a padlock can be successfully attached to. Locksets for mailbox locks are usually similar to filing cabinet locks, and they are usually also inferior to the locks used on doors in residential or commercial contents, like mortises or deadbolts. You can also choose to investigate locking mailboxes that have a built in, set in lock in the front - these sometimes allow your mail to be sealed in once placed inside through an access panel, like a coin bank.
How will you get to your mail?
This depends on what kind of lock you install with your mailbox. You need to make sure that the lock doesn’t prevent mailpeople from being able to place mail in your box, but also that it’s not so weak that random people can access it too. The best approach is to have a mail deposit slot, as mentioned above, and another entry method that allows for you to access your mail - usually being a set in lockset, but in some situations, padlocks can also be used, especially on outdoor mailboxes.
What will the mailbox and it’s lock be made of?
Since many mailboxes are situated outside, it’s important that they are made of weather resistant material that has longevity and durability in mind. You need to make sure that you also install with materials that are tamper proof, and cannot be forcibly opened up or even cut through. Steel is a fantastic option.
What volume and frequency of mail will you be receiving?
The size of your mailbox has to be determined by what kind of mail you expect to receive, as well as how much of it, and how often you will receive it. If you simply expect letters once in a long while, a small size will be sufficient. If you receive regular periodicals and magazines, you want a slightly larger size that can accommodate the deliveries without bending them. And, if you regularly receive delicate or large parcels through the mail, you will want to consider getting an official Post Office box, or installing a large mail retrieval access point - which will, in turn, require a larger lock.