Department of Public Safety

Mail Handling Information

This is a safety alert regarding heightened safety and security precautions and is coordinated between the Public Safety Department and Environmental Health & Safety and Emergency Management Department, and Mail Services. Please help us distribute this information by emailing this notice to friends and colleagues or by posting it on bulletin boards located throughout the campus.


The University of Michigan Ė Dearborn is taking the following steps concerning the safety of mail on campus:

  • We are reviewing mail-handling procedures with all staff, including student staff.
  • We will establish a formal protocol for responding to suspicious letters or  packages.
  • Mail Services has provided various departments on campus information regarding safe mail-handling procedures.

There have been no reports of suspicious parcels on campus.


What constitutes a "suspicious parcel"?

Some typical characteristics Postal Inspectors have detected over the years, which ought to trigger suspicion, include parcels that:

  • Are unexpected or from someone unfamiliar to you.
  • Are addressed to someone no longer with your organization or are otherwise outdated.
  • Have no return address, or have one that canít be verified as legitimate.
  • Are of unusual weight, given their size, or are lopsided or oddly shaped.
  • Are marked with restrictive endorsements, such as "Personal" or "Confidential".
  • Have protruding wires, strange odors or stains.
  • Show a city or state in the postmark that doesnít match the return address.
  • Do not try to open the parcel! Isolate the parcel.
  • Evacuate the immediate area.
  • Call the University of Michigan Ė Dearborn Department of Public Safety, 593-5333, to report that youíve received a suspicious parcel.
  • Do not handle the mail piece or package suspected of contamination.
  • Make sure that damaged or suspicious packages are isolated and the immediate area cordoned off.
  • Ensure that all persons who have touched the mail piece wash their hands with soap and water.
  • List all persons who have touched the letter and/or envelope. Include contact information.
  • Place all items worn when in contact with the suspected mail piece in plastic bags and keep them wherever you change your clothes and have them available for law enforcement agents.
  • As soon as practical, shower with soap and water.

What should I do if Iíve received a suspicious parcel in the mail?