With WFH and stay-at-home orders in place, some forms of package protection may no longer be allowed. You can’t have a parcel delivered to your employer, and your delivery person may not even get the box to your porch if they’re advised against touching gate latches and door knobs. Here’s what we recommend to help keep packages safe during social distancing and other quarantine rules. Make sure cameras and video doorbells are set to alert you of all motion.
Learn more about crime trends emerging from the coronavirus pandemic in our weekly roundup . When it comes to protecting your items, it still pays to be on friendly terms with the drivers who make deliveries in your neighborhood. When you know your delivery person, that means that they also know your package preferences. You can let your delivery people know where and when you prefer to have packages delivered , and they can recommend alternative options if you’re expecting a lot of packages when you’ll be away from home. Most delivery drivers have some discretion regarding deliveries. If something seems off at your home, a delivery person who knows you is more likely choose to leave you a notice about an attempted delivery instead of leaving your valuables at risk. If you’re already an Amazon Prime member, then you’ll love the convenience and safety of Amazon Lockers . These are self-service lockers that let you safely pick up your Amazon purchases at a nearby location (like a convenience store or Whole Foods) when you are ready to take them home.
Amazon Lockers eliminate the need to have items delivered to your home, and they keep your packages secure until you’re available to pick them up. Lockers are currently available nationwide at more than 2,800 locations in over 70 major metropolitan areas. If you don’t have an Amazon Locker location nearby, you can search for other package delivery lockers through UPS Access. Or, you can buy a personal package locker or dropbox for your front porch. Simply leave the locker open, and when a package is dropped off, the delivery person closes and locks it—keeping it safe until you return. Just make sure your locker is secured to the porch or heavy enough that a thief can’t walk away with the whole thing. One of the best ways to ensure that a package won’t be taken from your porch is to make sure it isn’t left out in the open. There are a number of lockboxes and secure parcel drops that can either replace your current mailbox or be added specifically for package delivery. If you receive packages delivered by the United States Postal Service (USPS), be sure the drop box you install is USPS-approved. For FedEx and UPS deliveries, a Landport lockbox is an attractive option that comes in a variety of sizes and styles to match your home’s aesthetic. Other options include the Mail Boss Locking Mailbox, which is perfect for small parcels, and the Qualarc Locking Package Delivery Box , which can receive larger deliveries. Another good security practice is to get together with neighbors to fight package theft . Agree to look out for strangers in the neighborhood and keep an eye on deliveries at one another’s homes. You may be able to have packages delivered to a neighbor who will be home. Or, you can ask a neighbor to grab a package off your porch if you’re alerted to a delivery via a security camera or delivery notification. There’s even a way to make some extra money by becoming the neighborhood package service. eNeighbr is a mobile app where you can sign up to receive deliveries for others or find a nearby neighbor who will accept your packages. Teaming up with neighbors is a smart way to keep your deliveries—and your whole neighborhood—secure. You don’t have to have a complete security system to keep an eye on package deliveries. A smart doorbell might be the simple solution you need to keep purchases safe. These Wi-Fi enabled doorbell cameras let you see—and talk to—whoever is at the front door, whether you’re in the kitchen or at the office. The Ring Video Doorbell includes a motion-activated camera , two-way audio , and an app that sends alerts to your smartphone, tablet, or computer. The presence of a video doorbell might keep your packages from being stolen —or help you catch the person who committed the dastardly deed if a thief does take off with your goods. In-home delivery is difficult to get if you’re not at home.
Key by Amazon is another way to prevent Amazon package theft. This free app lets Amazon delivery drivers safely place your packages inside your garage, car, or home . With Amazon Key, you can remotely grant access to delivery people to make sure your packages are always delivered securely. You can schedule deliveries and get real-time alerts (and live video footage) about the status of your package. But Amazon Key isn’t available in all areas , and you can only get Amazon Key deliveries if you’re an Amazon Prime member . Here’s what you need to know to find out if you’re eligible for Amazon Key. All Amazon Key services are only available in certain areas.
Key for Home works with compatible smart locks and cameras. You might need to buy a Smart Lock Kit to set up Key for Home. You may need a Smart Garage Kit to use Key for Garage. You can check online to see if your garage door is compatible and if Key for Garage is available in your area.