FRAGILEHANDLE WITH CARE or
RUSH DO NOT DELAY.
Parcel bombs may make a buzzing or ticking
noise, or a sloshing sound.
Pressure or resistance may be noted when
removing contents from an envelope or parcel.
If you, or anyone in your MPO, ever discover or
are suspicious of a piece of mail or parcel and are
unable to verify the contents of an article, you must
observe the following safety precautions:
DO NOT OPEN the article.
Isolate the article and evacuate the area
Do not put the article in a bucket of water or a
confined space such as a desk drawer or file
If time allows, open windows in the immediate
area. This will help to clear the air of potentially
Make sure you take NO chances, and dont worry
of possible embarrassment if the article turns out to be
a hoax. Contact the appropriate officials for
For handling and reporting of articles reasonably
suspected of being dangerous to persons (as discussed
earlier in this chapter) or suspected as letter bombs,
refer to the DOD Postal Manual, volume I, chapter 9.
Learning Objective: Recognize the
procedures for mailing restricted matter.
Restricted matter is articles or substances
specifically prohibited in the mails, or are mailable
only under limited conditions because they may be
injurious to life, health, or property. Included as
restricted matter are obnoxious odors (any matter
emitting an obnoxious odor is nonmailable) certain
liquids, powders, battery-powered devices, and sharp
An intoxicating liquor is a potable beverage that
contains 0.5 percent or more of alcohol by weight.
This small amount of alcohol content will almost
always include all whiskeys, wines, and beers. For
mailing purposes, you should not accept any alcoholic
beverage at a military post office.
LIQUIDS AND POWDERS
Liquids and semisolids that may liquefy under
normal conditions and are otherwise mailable may be
mailed if properly packaged (refer to Module C of the
DMM). Powders, which if allowed to escape from
their containers, could cause damage, discomfort,
destruction, or soiling, must either be packed in
siftproof containers or in other containers sealed in
durable, siftproof outer containers.
Devices that are powered by dry cell batteries may
be mailed if the batteries have been removed or
deactivated. The batteries may be shipped in the same
parcel provided they will not come in contact with the
device in such a way as to cause activation. Batteries
with liquid electrolyte (a solution that will conduct a
current) are not permitted in the mail unless they are
nonspillable type batteries that meet the standards in
Module C of the DMM.
ODD-SHAPED ITEMS IN ENVELOPES
Odd-shaped items such as pens and bottle caps are
not acceptable if mailed in letter-style envelopes.
These types of envelopes are generally of insufficient
strength to hold items other than normal paper
correspondence. Envelopes containing odd-shaped
objects could burst and the contents damage
mail-processing equipment or injure postal personnel.
KNIVES AND SHARP OBJECTS
Knives (including sharp-pointed instruments such
as stilettos that lack cutting edges) with a blade that
opens automatically by hand pressure applied to a
button or other device in the handle, or by operations of
inertia, gravity, or both, or with a detachable blade
propelled by a spring-operated mechanism, are
mailable only when sent to:
A government or organizations designated
supply or procurement officer and employees
ordering, procuring, or buying such knives for
use with activities of the federal government.