Get 1 year of free community web site hosting from Community123.com!
Wednesday, October 28, 2020











HOATalk is a free service of Community123.com:

Easy to use website tools to help your board
Only members have access to all features.
Click here to join HOATalk for Free! Members click here to login and access all features.
Subject: Preventing Mailbox Breaks STD-4B vs 4C
Prev Next
Please login to post a reply (click Member Login on the menu).
Author Messages
HappyE
(Texas)

Posts:7


10/02/2020 12:53 PM  
Our community has an open mail house at the entrance of our neighborhood. Our community was built in 2002 and we have STD-4B mailboxes.

This year, we have had over 15 breakin attempts, mostly successful. They just need a crowbar to wedge the door open and they can steal everyone's mail.

Would it be more effective to:

1) Pay roughly $22,000 for new STD-4C mailboxes, OR
2) Pay roughly $7,000 to build an iron fence around the mail house with a mechanical number keypad lock

I'm leaning towards option 1 because our mailboxes are getting old and worn and probably do need to get replaced at some point anyway, and an iron fence around the mail house would look unsightly. However, I worry we will still get breakins with the STD-4C mailboxes and will end up needing the gate anyway.
MarkM19
(Texas)

Posts:667


10/02/2020 3:18 PM  
Happy,
I am going to be watching this post for some great suggestions. My first thoughts are adding an additional layer of protection makes sense. I am not sure that a key pad is a real deterrent these days because a kid could send the code to 1000s of kids in seconds. If you have electricity and possibly internet access maybe a camera or multiple cameras may be a better way to stop or catch the bad person who is doing the break-ins. Also Card access maybe a way to go since everyone needs a key anyway to access the mail an additional card access may also help.

What part of Texas are you located in?
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:9648


10/02/2020 3:57 PM  
May I suggest discussing this with the Postal service? They have an entire "police" system. Stealing mail is at the Federal level. So it's time to not call local enforcement only. You have to contact the Postal system. They also sell the mailboxes you may want as well. Go consult the experts. Which in this case is Post office.

Former HOA President
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:1029


10/02/2020 5:24 PM  
Posted By HappyE on 10/02/2020 12:53 PM
Our community has an open mail house at the entrance of our neighborhood. Our community was built in 2002 and we have STD-4B mailboxes.

This year, we have had over 15 breakin attempts, mostly successful. They just need a crowbar to wedge the door open and they can steal everyone's mail.

Would it be more effective to:

1) Pay roughly $22,000 for new STD-4C mailboxes, OR
2) Pay roughly $7,000 to build an iron fence around the mail house with a mechanical number keypad lock

I'm leaning towards option 1 because our mailboxes are getting old and worn and probably do need to get replaced at some point anyway, and an iron fence around the mail house would look unsightly. However, I worry we will still get breakins with the STD-4C mailboxes and will end up needing the gate anyway.





Do you own the mailboxes? If so, you mention that they are old. Are the mailboxes part of your reserve study? If not, you should make them part of the RS. YO can easily argue to replace the mailboxes using reserve funds because the mailboxes are at the end of life.

Then I would install the iron gate around the mail house, I would not put a keypad only fob access. too many people will give out the code to the mail house, it would defeat the purpose of security.
HappyE
(Texas)

Posts:7


10/02/2020 7:39 PM  
Thanks for all the responses!

I am located in Austin, TX. We already have several HD cameras and we've gotten pretty good footage of the thieves, but it's not stopping them from trying.

We own the mailboxes. I have tried to contact USPS but it's been incredibly difficult to get to anyone who has any sort of knowledge or that cares enough to help. Even when we have footage of a suspect stealing mail several times and were able to identify who she is, the postal investigator refused to press charges when the detective reached out to them. I will continue to try but figured I'd see if anyone here had any experience.

I think we'd like to do the number lock because of cost. Perhaps we could change out the code annually?
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:17008


10/02/2020 7:45 PM  
Yep, Cameras, locks and fences only help keep the honest people honest by putting barriers up to diminish temptation.

If a criminal wants something, they will find a way to get it.

I wouldn't go with a code.
I would go with key cards.
If a card is stolen or lost, you simply deactivate that card and charge the individual for a replacement.
Otherwise, you will need to bear the cost of changing the code, notifying everyone and deal with those who don't remember it was changed.
MarkM19
(Texas)

Posts:667


10/02/2020 8:40 PM  
Having just purchased a New Key Fob system for our property it is a really reasonable option IMO.

Happy,
Couple of questions

1) How many units in your HOA?
2) Do you use Key Fobs for any thing else on property? It is very cheap to add a reader to an existing system.
3) Changing codes every year is not really a good ides for the reasons we have already mentioned.
Could you just put a lock on the gate and every HO gets a key to the gate and it is attached to the ring that has mailbox key on it.

I am just 1 City north of you and have a great contractor we used to install our Key Fob system. I do the adds and additions as the President of our board. It is very easy to maintain.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:4130


10/02/2020 10:54 PM  
Putting mailboxes in a reserve study? How often do these need replacing? Asking because ours are 30 years old and none the worse for wear. They are in a small freestanding "mail house" so they're not exposed to the weather.
HappyE
(Texas)

Posts:7


10/05/2020 11:39 AM  
Hi Mark!

Here are my answers:
1) How many units in your HOA? 204 single family homes
2) Do you use Key Fobs for any thing else on property? It is very cheap to add a reader to an existing system. We do not. We do have a gate and the keypad can read HID fobs, so we could issue a fob that works for both mail room and gate if it was HID enabled.
3) Changing codes every year is not really a good ides for the reasons we have already mentioned.
Could you just put a lock on the gate and every HO gets a key to the gate and it is attached to the ring that has mailbox key on it. I would worry it's easy to copy and distribute the mail key or that the lock would be in constant need of maintenace due to the number of times it is used.

I'll definitely take the suggestion of using a key fob somehow, but since we recently had a financial disaster at the hands of our last property management, we really don't have any funds saved up to address this so we are trying to keep costs as low as possible.

I'd definitely love to know which contractor you used as well as which system you used, and how much that set you back.

Thanks!
MarkM19
(Texas)

Posts:667


10/05/2020 12:07 PM  
Happy,
If you already have a Key Fob system it should be pretty easy and not that expensive to add a Card Reader. I just replaced 1 of our older readers and you can find HID readers online for under $100.00. Of course you still need to have a cable run to the Reader. We purchased CDVI Card access system late last year and were able to use our existing Readers and Fobs. Very easy to self maintain and program as well. The system is from CDVI. I do not want to break any site rules by giving you the vendors name on this post.

If you feel comfortable with giving me a contact number for you I can call you. I spent 39 years in the Telecom industry and have used several systems. I am retired so this is not a solicitation for business just a guy wanting to help another board member.
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:1029


10/06/2020 6:17 AM  
Posted By GenoS on 10/02/2020 10:54 PM
Putting mailboxes in a reserve study? How often do these need replacing? Asking because ours are 30 years old and none the worse for wear. They are in a small freestanding "mail house" so they're not exposed to the weather.




If a roof in a reserve study calls for replacement every 20-30 years, shouldn't a mail box that gets a lot of use and abuse?
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:4130


10/06/2020 12:22 PM  
Posted By LetA on 10/06/2020 6:17 AM
Posted By GenoS on 10/02/2020 10:54 PM
Putting mailboxes in a reserve study? How often do these need replacing? Asking because ours are 30 years old and none the worse for wear. They are in a small freestanding "mail house" so they're not exposed to the weather.




If a roof in a reserve study calls for replacement every 20-30 years, shouldn't a mail box that gets a lot of use and abuse?

Define "abuse" please. Our roofs are nearing the end of their useable lives. Our mailboxes still look pretty good and operate just fine. Why should mailboxes be assigned a 20-30 year useful life just because roofs are? I'm not seeing where that apples-to-oranges comparison makes any sense.
HappyE
(Texas)

Posts:7


10/06/2020 12:58 PM  
Our doors are sagging because of being opened and closed everyday. I've had to screw in several random loose screws, but even then, the doors are very rickety and require you to hold them up, them slam hard to actually latch properly. USPS here is not kind to our doors. It doesn't help that we've also had them broken into several times this past year.
MarkM19
(Texas)

Posts:667


10/06/2020 1:18 PM  
Happy,
I have also had a similar problem with our main Amenity Center door that was forced open passed what the normal hinge allowed. I was able to fix by replacing the screws on the hinges by using slightly larger screws that were about 1/2 inch longer than the existing screws.

It sounds like you are similar to me and take on small maintenance items to save your community from using handymen for simple tasks.
MarkM19
(Texas)

Posts:667


10/06/2020 1:20 PM  
Happy,
If you stay on your board long enough and do everything to help out you may end up changing your name on this site to GrumpyE.
HappyE
(Texas)

Posts:7


10/06/2020 2:20 PM  
Think I'm already there..I've been on the board 7 years and I spend probably 20 hours a week working on HOA stuff (we've been in financial crisis mode this year). I'm planning my HOA retirement though and am trying to train others on the board and create committees carry on all the duties.
Please login to post a reply (click Member Login on the menu).
Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > Preventing Mailbox Breaks STD-4B vs 4C



Only members have access to all features.
Click here to join HOATalk for Free! Members click here to login and access all features.







General Legal Notice:  The content of forum messages are from the posting member and have not been reviewed nor endorsed by HOATalk.com.  Messages posted by HOATalk or other members are for informational purposes only, are not legal or professional advice and do not constitute an attorney-client relationship.  Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.  HOATalk is not a licensed attorney, CPA, tax advisor, financial advisor or any other licensed professional.  HOATalk accepts ads from sponsors but does not verify sponsor qualifications nor endorse/guarantee any sponsor's product or service.
Legal Notice For Messages Posted by Sponsoring Attorneys: This message has been prepared by the sponsoring attorney for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Readers of HOATalk.com should not act on this information without seeking professional counsel. Please do not send any sponsoring attorney confidential information unless you speak with the sponsoring attorney or an attorney from the sponsoring attorney’s firm and get authorization to send that information to them. If you wish to initiate possible representation, please contact an attorney in the firm of the sponsoring attorney. Sponsoring attorneys that post messages here are licensed to practice law in a specific state or states as indicated in their message signature or sponsor’s profile page. (NOTE: A ‘sponsoring attorney’ is an attorney that is a HOATalk.com official sponsor and is identified as such in the posted message or on our sponsor page.)

Copyright HOA Talk.com, A Service of Community123 LLC ( Homeowners Association Discussions )   Terms Of Use  Privacy Statement