BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — If you live in Buffalo, you may have received a post card in the mail, asking to help keep your mail carrier safe. The informational cards have been going out to homeowners the past several weeks.
Zak Darlak is one of those carriers, who’s delivering that message. He delivers to 500-600 homes a day, in the Lovejoy neighborhood in Buffalo. And on his route, his head is constantly on a swivel.
“We have dog spray to repeal the dogs from us, but ultimately if we feel like the dog was a hazard, we’re not going to deliver the mail to the house, we’re going to hold, and the customer is going to have to pick it up from the post office,” he said.
To help keep mail carriers safe from dogs, a new initiative was started by a carrier in Corfu, and has expanded to Buffalo and other parts of the U.S. If a house has a dog that could be problematic, it gets an orange sticker. The house before it gets a yellow sticker as a warning that a dog is next door.
“It’s another visual to keep our carriers safe,” Darlak said.
Along with the stickers, the postcards are helping explain what homeowners can do to help. A big one is keeping the sidewalks, and any other walkway leading up to the mailbox, clear of snow, ice and other obstacles.
“Cords from the inflatable decorations, people could trip over those.”
And it’s really helpful to move mailboxes to the ground level, to reduce the number of stairs mail carriers have to walk up and down in the wintertime.
“A lot of people put them up on their porches, so you’re going up 5, 6, 7 stairs, sometimes more to get to the mailbox,” Darlak said. “And climbing those amount of stairs increases the risk of falling back down the stairs, or slipping down the stairs.”
The average work accident costs a business $48,000.
“The customer can be liable for a carrier being hurt on their property.”
So the more you can do to help Darlak and his co-workers, the better for everyone.