It’s the holiday season! Shopping for Christmas is easier than ever with online ordering and delivery directly to your front door. No more braving the mass crowds at your local mall, battling every man, woman and child trying to find the perfect gift at the best price. One-click ordering from your couch and all of your presents for the ones you love most arrive at your doorstep in just a few days. But you better watch out! There are Grinches who want to steal your Christmas presents right off your front porch- they’re known as porch pirates and we’re here to tell you how your smart home products can help identify who they are and prevent them from ruining your holiday season.
#1 Smart Doorbell
A popular feature in the smart home trend is the doorbell. A simple, yet effective product has already proven to thwart numerous burglary attempts across the nation. With features such as HD video, two-way audio and customizable motion sensors, a smart doorbell is a viable option in preventing package theft. By setting up instant alerts to your smart phone when the built-in motion detector is triggered, you can view who is at and what is happening at your front door from anywhere in the world. Two-way audio allows you to speak to (or yell at) whoever is attempting to steal your items. And the ability to retrieve live videos means you can post, share, email, text and tweet their faces for your entire community to witness.
Here are some smart doorbell products we recommend:
Available in a variety of models to fit every budget, you can easily upgrade your standard old doorbell to a video doorbell by Ring. From a simple battery powered model to a professional-grade hardwired version, all Ring video doorbells have the capability of stopping porch pirates in their tracks while you never have to confront them face to face. Be cautious though, these doorbells require monthly service fees if you want their premium features like video recording and sharing or saving videos.
P.S. Check out this link for some great videos of porch pirates caught in the act >>> https://tv.ring.com/
The Control4 Door Stations provide premium viewing from your doorway with full-motion video and a high-quality audio intercom system. Using Control4’s integrated products, you can see who’s at your front door from any room in your house. It will even send camera snapshots to your mobile devices. There is an annual subscription to access the Control4 app so you can view your front door from your phone, but can you really put a price on a seeing a porch pirate’s face when they hear your voice over the intercom?
#2 Surveillance Cameras
Outdoor surveillance cameras also provide a viable option to identify (and hopefully prevent) porch pirates from stealing your packages. Surveillance cameras can be placed strategically around the outside of your home, providing you a comprehensive view of your property. These cameras enable you to watch delivery drivers as they drop off your package and also view your package if it was left somewhere other than your front porch. Installing a security camera may even be effective in thwarting off burglars by simply placing them in evident and visible locations to intimidate the thief. Be sure to install them in high areas so they can’t be tampered with. This can prevent package theft at your residence and also help secure your neighborhood.
Here are some surveillance cameras we endorse:
The Spyclops collection of cameras and DVRs will give you peace of mind from anywhere in the world with easy viewing through their free smart phone app. Record live video to watch later or view it in real-time. These cameras are weather resistant and have night vision so you can guarantee they will work under any conditions.
With crystal-clear video in Full HD, Luma Surveillance allows you to see the finer details in life. A complete line of seamless styles and colors allow Luma Surveillance equipment to fit into any environment. Built to defend against Mother Nature and potential vandals, Luma cameras record even in the toughest conditions.
#3 Smart Locks
Smart locks, in conjunction with smart doorbells, pair together to create a game changing safety system for your packages. Use your camera feed to confirm the presence of a delivery driver at your door, press a button on your smart device from wherever you are to unlock the door so the package can be left inside, ensure the driver has left your residence and lock the door again. If having a random delivery driver enter your home makes you nervous, you can also install a smart garage door opener as an alternative.
We recommend Kwikset
Eliminate the need for keys with Kwikset’s collection of battery operated or touchscreen door locks. Keyless entry touchscreen or touchpads allow you to enter your home using a unique access code or lock your door with just the touch of a button. Lock and unlock your doors from anywhere in the world, or have Alexa do it for you.
BONUS TIPS: Prevent Stolen Packages and Save Christmas (or any other day of the year)
- If you know you won’t be home at the time of delivery, send it to your workplace or trusted neighbor who is available.
- Request a signature to ensure your package is received by the right person.
- Don’t leave gifts out in the open. Surround your porch area with plants or decorations for more privacy.
- Don’t tell social media you’re expecting a package.
- Request the item be placed in your backyard, or hidden in a place you pre-determined.
- Track your package so you know precisely when it will arrive.