Prevent porch theft this holiday season

Can you believe there are only four shopping days ’til Christmas?

Hopefully, you were ahead of the game this year and crossed items off your list early. Or, like an increasing number of people, you opted to order gifts online and avoid the throngs of last-minute shoppers at the mall.

Beware the Porch Pirates

Convenience aside, there are many pros to having your packages delivered, but more and more people are falling victim to Porch Pirates, which Urban Dictionary defines as “Thieves who roam neighbourhoods looking for defenseless parcels.”

Home delivery can be a perfectly safe option if you or someone else is around to receive your package(s), but what are your options if you aren’t home when your packages arrive on your doorstep?

Pick it up

If you’re due to have a package shipped via Canada Post, ask that a signature be required so it isn’t left outside. You can also request to pick up packages at a nearby post office instead.

Some websites have an option for delivery instructions. Make sure to leave a notation like “do not leave on doorstep” or “do not safe drop.” Couriers will have to then leave your packages to their depot and you’ll have to pick them up yourself.

Get on track

Most companies give customers a tracking number, and it’s advisable to keep tabs on when your package is expected to arrive. If you can’t receive the delivery personally, ask a neighbour to pick it up for you.

Or, you can circumvent the possibility of theft altogether and have any parcels sent straight to your workplace, if your employer allows it.

Amazon to the rescue

Amazon Key is a new service offered to Amazing Prime members. It’s an anti-theft kit that includes a camera and compatible smart lock. On the day of your delivery, Amazon will notify you of your package’s impending arrival, and unlock your door, enabling the delivery person will enter your home and leave your package right inside your home.

There’s even an app to watch the everything in real-time as it happens. Amazon notifies you when the delivery has been completed and your door is locked once again.

(Ed note: Several news outlets have recently reported that a flaw in Amazon Key actually leaves your home vulnerable to predators. Skip until the company improves the technology.)

Hit the spot

Package Guard is a small round device you place near your door, and it alerts you whenever a package is set upon it after delivery. If a thief tries to take your package, a loud alarm goes off.

Lock it up

Much like the lockbox that realtors use, you can place a lock box/safe box outside your home that’s specifically for packages. You give the courier or delivery person the code to the lockbox just before your packages are delivered to be placed safely inside.

Don’t fall victim to thieves. These simple tips can help keep your home safe and your holidays happy!

The Merenda team can help you safeguard your home for the holidays and beyond. Call us today at 416-240-SOLD (7653) for advice on home safety and security.