The holiday season is upon us. It is estimated that the US Postal Service, FedEx, UPS and other delivery companies deliver more than 2 billion packages between Thanksgiving and the end of the year.
Two billion packages delivered, leaves plenty of opportunity for thieves (aka porch pirates), to steal packages left on porches. An estimated 23 million Americans have had a package stolen from their front porch or mailbox, 11 million just in the past year alone. Over 70% are stolen while the homeowner is at work. Every year the local news shows footage of “Porch Pirates”, or package thieves, stealing from doorsteps across the nation.
More than half of Americans say they know someone who has had a package stolen from outside their home. According to the Shorr Package Theft Report Survey, almost a third of respondents have actually experienced stolen packages themselves, Shorr also reported that 53% of customers have changed their plans to make sure they were home for a package, even when they didn’t have to sign for it. How inconvenient! There must be a better way!
Ways to prevent your packages from being stolen:
Ship to an Amazon Locker.
If you’re ordering from Amazon, and you don’t have a way to secure your deliveries, send them to an Amazon Locker. You can find them in places like Whole Foods (owned by Amazon) and other convenient store locations. Just Google “Amazon Locker near me “and you’ll find a convenient location.
FedEx will hold packages at the local FedEx Office. With more than 1,900 locations, it offers a safe and convenient way to keep packages from being stolen.
Use Delivery Instructions.
If your packages are too exposed on your front porch, request for your packages to be left at another location, like your backdoor. You can also require that packages be signed for upon delivery, this way your packages are never left outside.
Send the packages to your work address.
This is an easy one. If the boss will let you receive personal packages, problem solved.
Send the packages to a friend.
If you have friends or family who you know will be home, just use their address.
Use Amazon Key for In-Home or In-Car Deliveries.
Basically, Amazon Key is software that pairs with a smart lock and a smart security camera. It allows you to lock and unlock your door using a keycode or Alexa voice commands. Whenever the door is unlocked, Amazon Key sends you a notification and records a video. The system gives delivery drivers temporary access to your home and your packages end up inside even when you’re not home. It sounds invasive, but Amazon Key makes a recording of each delivery, and delivery people don’t really have a reason to snoop around your home when they know they’re being watched. Don’t want anyone inside your home? You can use Amazon Key exclusively for your garage or car. That way nobody is going inside your home. (Note: You must make the purchase from Amazon.)
Install an outdoor security camera.
Security cameras have come a long way. With cloud storage and high-speed internet, you can access a live feed or recording from your cell phone. Plus, smart security cameras like the Arlo Pro or the Ring Video Doorbell are surprisingly affordable. Also, check out the Maximus Camera Floodlight that will not only film but also send real-time alerts to your smartphone when the motion detector senses
Keep your property well lit.
Sometimes thieves will wait until dark before they come prowling. The Maximus Camera Floodlight turns on lights when motion is detected, however, it’s still a good idea to keep your property well-lit with landscape lighting. It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive. Just keep your sidewalk and porch nice and bright.
Make it look like you are home.
This is good common sense, regardless of whether you’re expecting a package. Lights going on and off inside a home will help keep burglars from not only stealing what’s sitting on your porch, but also from breaking into your home. The My-Touch-Smart system is an inexpensive, easy-to-operate system.
(Cover Photo by Hello I'm Nik on Unsplash)