Most of us order things online these days. With COVID-19, online shopping is more important and essential than ever. It’s so convenient to just order from home and have what you need shipped right to your front door.
The problem is that packages sitting outside are vulnerable to “porch pirates.” Millions of packages are stolen each year and you don’t want your valuable items to be among them.
Your risk of being a victim of porch thieves is greater if:
- Your home is within 50 feet of the road.
- The package is visible from the road.
- The package displays a brand.
What can you do to prevent your packages from being snatched from your porch?
18 Porch Pirate Prevention Tips
from a Handyman Business
- Install a security camera system with a motion sensor at each access point to your home or where packages will be delivered. An Amazon Cloud Cam works with Alexa, has night vision, and notifies you when there is any detected motion.
- Install motion detector lights.
- Purchase a lockbox or parcel drop to hold packages safely.
- Get an Amazon locker if you live in one of 900 areas where they are available.
- Install a smart doorbell that hooks into your Wi Fi like a Ring video doorbell or an Arlo video doorbell.
- Use an Amazon key so you can let your Amazon delivery person place your package safely in your vehicle, door, or garage and then you can lock the door behind them.
- Use a PO box at the Post Office.
- Pick up your deliveries yourself.
- Use a Package Guardian bag to deter thieves.
- Sign up for delivery tracking and keep records of your tracking numbers handy.
- Have your packages delivered to your office or to a friend’s or neighbor’s house who will be home.
- Insure your packages.
- Require a signature on delivery.
- Use a smart door lock (like an August smart lock, or a Google smart lock) that allows you to unlock your door for someone through an app like Alexa, Google Assistant, and others on your smartphone.
- Use Package Guard battery powered device (connected to an app on your smartphone) that alerts you when a package is delivered and will sound a loud alarm if a package is stolen.
- Use UPS My Choice service to manage your deliveries.
- Sign up for FedEx delivery manager to control your deliveries.
- Plant taller bushes in front of your porch or screen your front porch so that packages are not visible from the street.
Some of these suggestions—like smart locks—require installation of electronic devices. If this is something you are not comfortable with doing yourself, or you just don’t have time, why not find a handyman to help? Then you can avoid package theft and know you can keep your deliveries safe.
While you’re at it, perhaps you want to install a home security system to give you greater peace of mind that your family and valuables are safe inside your home, as well.
And perhaps, you’d like to spruce up your front porch and take care of any rotten steps or loose boards. You don’t want your delivery person to get hurt and drop a fragile package, after all!
What can you do if you are a victim of a porch pirate?
What if you take some of these steps to try to protect your packages and you are still the unfortunate victim of a thief?
If you suspect your package was stolen:
- Check with neighbors.
- Report the incident to the retailer/shipping company.
- For an expensive item, you may be able to file a claim with your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance.
- Contact the police and fill out a report.
- Check with your credit card company about potential reimbursement.
Are you looking for a handyman near you in the Columbia, SC area?
We are a licensed and insured handyman company ready to help you prevent people from stealing your packages by installing safety equipment. We can also help you spruce up your house, knock out your honey-do list, or help you take care of your punch list before you sell your home.