How Do I Keep Deliveries Safe?

Package delivery theft is unfortunately very common, especially around the holidays. Millions of people have gotten their packages stolen all over the United States in the past couple years, and with online shopping becoming more and more popular, this trend is not one that will stop soon.

There are several steps you can take to help prevent package theft.

1) Sign up for delivery updates. When you place an order online, the company should provide you with a tracking number after the item has been shipped. This number can be tracked through the delivery company, whether it be FedEx, UPS, USPS, or DHL. Once you obtain the tracking number, you can sign up for text or email updates on the delivery company's website. This way, you know when your package is out for delivery and when it has been delivered. 

2) Request package pick-up. Alternatively, when you get your tracking number, you can have the package held at the local delivery facility. This way, you can go pick the package up at the shipping warehouse instead of having it delivered to your door. You must present a photo ID to pick the package up, so your package will be safe. If you order from Amazon, you can also see if there is an Amazon Locker in your area. The Amazon Locker is a secure and self operated delivery location that allows you to pick up your package without worry. Please note that many pick-up facilities will only hold the package for a limited amount of time before it is returned to the sender, so it is wise to pick your package up as soon as possible.  

3) Require a signature for all deliveries. Contact your delivery company and see if they can require a signature for delivery on all packages sent to your address. This way, packages can't be just left on your doorstep. Please note that often times this service comes with an extra fee. 

4) Leave detailed delivery instructions. Is there some place around your home that's out of plain sight? Tell the delivery driver to leave the package there. 

5) Install video surveillance. By installing video cameras in plain view on the outside of your home, you can discourage package thieves. This will not stop everyone from stealing things off your porch or designated delivery point, but it can help identify thieves. Having video camera footage can also help when you file a claim for a lost or stolen package. 

6) Chose a different delivery address. If you work long hours and aren't home during the normal delivery schedule, consider choosing a different drop point. Check with a trusted neighbor or nearby friend that either works from home or is retired. You can also talk to your work and see if they will allow for deliveries to be made to your office. If you have had packages stolen previously, please express this concern. 

7) Consider getting order insurance, if offered. If you have a particularly expensive package that you are shipping, consider adding some insurance to your postage. Most companies offer insurance for no charge up to $50. 

8) Try to time deliveries for when you are home. Most delivery companies operate from Monday to Saturday. Before you place an online order, think about when you are going to be home and look at your delivery options. 

9) Look into getting a Package Guard. The Package Guard is a relatively new digital device designed to help reduce the risk of package theft. The frisbee sized device is armed when a package is set on it. When someone other than the owner removes the package, a notification is sent to the owner and a loud alarm goes off. 

10) Talk with your neighbors. If package theft is a concern, or if you have had your packages stolen from your front porch, talk to your neighbors. They may have experienced similar issues and can share steps they have done to prevent package theft. If this hasn't happened before, it could become a trend. 

11) Look into site-to-store. Is there a product that you need from a big name store that is only available online? See if the pick-up option is available. 

12) Alert the police. If you have had a package stolen off your front porch, you should report the theft to the police. This will help you in getting a refund from the company you ordered from. This is also a time when security cameras can come in handy. You can turn the footage over to the police to help identify the thieves.