Package thieves are hard at work during the holiday season. The pickings are ripe when you can drive through a neighborhood, see packages sitting on front porches that won’t be touched for hours. With online shopping being so prevalent, those packages will contain some valuable commodities for them to be enticed by.
Here are some safety tips for package delivery for the upcoming holiday season:
10 Holiday Package Delivery Safety Tips
1. DELIVER TO YOUR OFFICE
If your place of work allows it, have your packages delivered right to your office. You may not be able to get weekend delivery if you’re not there, but it would be a convenient, safe way to handle package delivery when you can’t be home to wait.
2. USE PICK UP POINTS
Different than a P.O. Box, delivery services are setting up temporary delivery points for you to have your packages delivered to. You can then pick up your packages on your way home from work. Amazon Locker and UPS’ Access Point Network provide those areas in local grocery stores, convenience stores, storefronts and more.
3. USE A TEMPORARY PO BOX
Many delivery services such as UPS or FedEx will not deliver to a traditional P.O. Box address, but will deliver to a street address that just happens to be in a Postal Delivery Service Office. Many of those offices will even call you when you have a package arrives, and take a photo of it for you to see ahead of time. The UPS Store has this service, as well as many privately owned companies. Check your local listings to find one a location near you, then rent the P. O. Box through the season. Be mindful of contract times and fees.
4. REQUEST A RE-ROUTE OR RE-DELIVERY
You can request that a package be held at the delivery facility of your deliverer, rerouted to another location, or delivered on another day.
- Call UPS or FedEx once you have a tracking number from the company you’ve purchased from, and have UPS or FedEx hold the package at their facility for pickup later.
- Use FedEx’s Delivery Manager, and UPS My Choice, premium memberships, which allows you more choices in re-delivery.
5. USE A NEIGHBOR’S HOUSE
Keeping your packages safe during the day is hard if you’re working all the time, but you can find a neighbor who may be willing to accept deliveries for you. Or, if you’re the entrepreneurial type, start a service for a small fee for friends and family. You can become your own Amazon Locker!
6. USE A WIRELESS HOME MONITORING SYSTEM
Use a wireless door monitor, such as Ring, that allows you to see your porch. You’ll know when packages are delivered, and will be able to see visitors, even when not at home. It works through a wi-fi-enabled camera at your door and an app on your phone. You can set off alarms for snoopers, as well as ask questions to those approaching.
7. REQUEST A SIGNATURE CONFIRMATION
Requesting a signature delivery is a little harder in this day of order and drop, but you may be able to call the delivery service to request a required signature for a package using the tracking number. This insures that the package isn’t just dumped. Packages sent through USPS have the option for a small fee.
8. REQUEST A KNOCK
Our UPS delivery folks are hit and miss with this quick convenience. It is helpful to hear that a package has been delivered, even when you’re home, so that you can pick it up, instead of it sitting outside. So request it in the notes on your order form, call your delivery service with tracking number and put that request in, etc. You are not going to be guaranteed a knock, but it is a note that will be on the delivery for the carrier.
9. CREATE A DELIVERY CORNER
You may be able to hide smaller package deliveries behind planters or decorations on your porch. This is not a guarantee that a delivery person will actually put a package there, but many try to make sure that packages are put in places that don’t draw attention. There is also the Package Guard, a Wi-Fi-enabled device that alerts you, through an app, when a package has been delivered to your house, and sets off a loud alarm if anyone unauthorized tries to steal the package. You can program it, to allow a neighbor to pick it up for you, but unauthorized ‘pick ups’ will be alarmed.
10. GIVE THEM A VIRTUAL KEY
Amazon Key is a new program that puts a keypad lock on your door that is accessible to anyone you give the code to. You get notifications on your phone app that a service has used the lock. Amazon deliverers place your package just inside the door, are recorded on video, and you receive notification. You can also use the service to allow cleaners, dog walkers, etc., into your home with the same service. It’s $250 to begin the service, Amazon installs for you, and it gives you an option for safe package delivery if you have concerns about your package, your neighborhood, and all other options have been exhausted.
I’ll be honest, this last program is one that we wouldn’t use for our home, but I understand the convenience factor for so many. It isn’t any different than having a cleaner or dog walker coming to your home to provide service when you aren’t there, but at least those folks have been vetted personally. I’m sure the service is bonded, and regulations are in place that the deliverer cannot be in the home longer than thirty seconds, it’s just not something I’d be comfortable with. I’d love to hear your experience if you have used it, though.
Holiday Package Delivery Safety Tips — keep those gifts from the heart safe from thieves during the holiday season and anytime during the year! Don’t let Christmas holidays be ruined by thieves, protect your deliveries!
Other alternatives for package delivery safety
- Purchase a lock box for your front porch
- Purchase a mailbox with secured access
- Place a hold on mail and pick up at post office
- Insure your packages – it may not stop a thief, but it may get you your money back or items replaced at no cost to you!