Let’s get this out of the way – it’s Guy Fawkes Night this week, and you can’t send fireworks in the mail, unless you’re using a specialist courier service – they can only be transported in limited quantities, and have to be handled in a very specific way to ensure safety for the driver and the recipient. That’s an obvious one – however did you know there are a number of potentially dangerous items that you may need to make special arrangements for selling to your customers? Read on…

Christmas Crackers
Hey, it’s almost that time of year… A Christmas cracker contains a small amount of what is effectively gunpowder in order to make the signature “bang”. This mixture of potassium nitrate, charcoal and sulphur is safe in the small quantity inside one cracker, but if you have a large quantity of crackers, coupled with the flammable material they’re made of, you have a potential fire hazard.

Alcoholic Beverages
Alcohol is a flammable material – you’ll know this from pouring brandy on your Christmas pudding (OK, we won’t mention Christmas again!). Usually, sending spirits of up to 70% ABV is fine – but there are several notable brands who produce spirits in anything up to 96% ABV, such as the notorious Everclear and Spirytus. In general, any alcohol with an ABV of 40% or higher is classed as flammable, so anything from absinthes and high-strength rum to Everclear could potentially generate a consistently-burning and difficult to extinguish flame if not correctly stored and handled.

Aftershaves, Colognes and Perfumes
On a similar note to the above, aftershaves and perfumes can also be considered a flammable substance as they have similar alcohol quantities to the high-strength spirits mentioned above – around 70-80%. This popular gift item (we didn’t specifically say Christmas gift, in our defence) can still be sent in the mail, but there are restrictions on the quantity in each bottle, the number of bottles per parcel, and special labelling and packaging conditions are applicable.

This is a common item, and not usually one that would be considered “dangerous”, however they’re still subject to strict guidelines on what types of battery can be carried, and which services they are allowed to be sent on. Most electronic items require a battery of some sort – in most cases they use rechargeable Lithium Ion cells. The very thing that makes lithium batteries great at powering high-drain devices – their efficiency and large capacity for energy storage – is what makes them dangerous. If a lithium battery is mishandled in a way which causes physical damage or overheating, there’s a potential for explosion as the energy is released all at once.

The Collect Group offer an audit of your items as part of our service. We can advise on which items and service are applicable for your specific sending requirements. We’ve also published a non-exhaustive list of items which require an audit, however if you’re unsure about what you can and can’t send with us, one of our advisors will be able to help.