Mail Safety

We take your safety and security very seriously at Western. This includes educating you on precautionary measures to identify any suspicious mail or packages and identification of shipping or receiving hazardous materials. 

Suspicious Letters or Packages

The information listed below is offered to assist you in determining if a letter or package that you have received should be considered suspicious. When determining whether or not a package is suspicious, take the following into account:

  • Is it an unexpected package from an unfamiliar sender address?
  • Is there no return address?
  • Is the postage excessive (i.e. are there too many stamps) for the type of mail being sent?
  • Does the package contain foreign postmark or markings, restrictive markings (such as confidential, etc.), or visually distracting markings?
  • Are there inconsistencies in spelling, grammar, how the information is written on the package? (for example, hand-written and illegible)
  • Has it been excessively secured by tape, string, etc.?
  • Is the package or envelope lopsided, uneven, or otherwise not consistent with any orders you have placed or mail you are expecting to receive?
  • Is the exterior stained with oil or other discolorations?

If you believe a letter or package is suspicious, based on multiple criteria above, keep the item isolated, cordon off the area, and contact University Police immediately at 360-650-3911.


Suspicious letters or packages should never be opened.

Hazardous Materials

There are new requirements for shipping packages through WWU Mail Services.

WWU Mail Services and Environmental Health and Safety are now requiring a Hazardous Material Shipment Form be attached to every package that contains flammable, perishable, radioactive, biological, explosive or potentially hazardous materials.

All individuals that intend to ship hazardous materials related to any WWU activity, please call Environmental Health and Safety at 360-650-6582 for more information on shipping hazardous materials.