(NAPSI)—This holiday season, the Postal Service™ looks forward to delivering a great deal of holiday cheer, along with more than 15 billion mail pieces. The United States Postal Inspection Service®, the federal law enforcement arm of the Postal Service, is working to keep your important shipments safe and prevent mail and parcel theft.
What can you do to ensure your gifts and cards are safe? Postal Inspectors offer six tips to help ensure your important packages reach their destinations and brighten lives this holiday season.
1. Don't leave your delivered mail and packages unattended. Just as you wouldn't leave valuables on the front seat of an unlocked car overnight, mail shouldn't be left sitting in mailboxes or on front porches for any length of time.
2. Going out of town? Hold your mail at your local Post Office. If you plan on taking a trip or know you won't be able to check your mail for a few days, use the USPS Hold Mail service on usps.com. Your mail will be held securely at your Post Office until you pick it up or request delivery to your home.
3. Plan ahead. Ship using Hold for Pickup. When shipping packages, the Hold for Pickup option means recipients can collect their packages at their local Post Offices. If you are expecting a package, you can redirect it to your local Post Office by selecting Hold for Pickup using Intercept a Package under Track & Manage on usps.com.
4. Customize the delivery. If you know the package will not fit in your mailbox and you won't be home to receive it, you can authorize the carrier to leave it in a specified location. Visit usps.com, enter the tracking number in Track a Package, and select Delivery Instructions.
5. Secure the shipment using USPS Special Services. Signature Confirmation requires a signature at the time of delivery. For your most valuable packages, you can opt for Registered Mail service. Registered Mail receives special handling from the time it's mailed until the time it's delivered, with documentation every step of the way.
6. Monitor your front door. If you have a home security camera system and you catch any mail thieves in the act, save the video and alert your local Postal Inspectors.
For more great tips you can use not just during the holidays, but all year long, visit: uspis.gov.