Safety Moment: Handling Suspicious Mail

Suspicious mail has come to the forefront in recent years, as the mail system can be used to transport explosive materials, or chemical, biological, radioactive or nuclear substances.  If you receive mail that is out of the ordinary, here are some things to consider. If one of more of these features is present, you may have suspicious mail.

  • There is too much postage using many low-value stamps.
  • The return address is missing or indecipherable.
  • The name, title or address is incorrect or spelled incorrectly. It may have distorted handwriting, or the name/ address may be made with homemade labels or cut-and-paste letters.
  • There is too much wrap, binding, tape, or tying material.
  • You can feel wiring, aluminum foil or powder inside and/or protruding from the package.
  • The letter or package feels too heavy. It may have an irregular shape with soft spots/bulges.
  • The letter or package is dirty, oil- or grease-stained or leaking.
  • There is a funny smell or noise or a sloshing sound.
  • Cancellation or postmarks may indicate a different location than the return address. Letter bombs may feel rigid, or appear uneven or lopsided.

If you are concerned that a letter or package is suspicious or may contain a bomb, you can refuse to accept it. If it is already on your premises:

  • Do not open it.
  • Isolate it.
  • Leave the area.
  • Let your supervisor know.
  • Contact your local police service or emergency responder.