11 ways to keep porch pirates away

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It’s that time of year again when a surplus of packages begins showing up at your doorstep—but how can you keep all of those holiday gifts safe from porch pirates when you’re not at home? Parcel Smart Locker

Here are 11 ways you can protect your holiday packages from porch pirates.

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A video doorbell is the eyes and ears of your front door. With some of the best video doorbells, like the Nest Doorbell (battery) and the Ring Video Doorbell (2020), you can do more than just hear and see what’s going on outdoors as both of these doorbells are smart enough to send specific package delivery alerts to your phone. These notifications go above and beyond the general motion alerts found on most video doorbells.

Google’s Nest doorbell is one of the most specific, telling you when a package gets delivered and when it’s no longer in view (which could potentially alert you to a porch pirate if you’re not expecting any movement). The package detection feature comes free for up to three hours at a time with the Nest Doorbell (battery).

Only select Ring doorbells, like the (2020) model and the Ring Pro 2, can detect package deliveries. These two doorbells also have the unique capability to work alongside Alexa, allowing her to announce package deliveries via Echo speakers and smart displays.

One of the best outdoor security cameras that can detect packages is the Google Nest Outdoor Cam.

With up to three hours of free video notification history, the Nest Outdoor Cam can detect package deliveries on your porch and people in your yard, depending on where you have it setup. An outdoor security camera is a nice companion for a video doorbell, allowing the two to work together to give you the full view of what’s happening around your property.

If you catch someone swiping a package from your front porch, you can create a video clip of the event to share. With a paid subscription to Nest Aware, the Nest Outdoor Cam is capable of continuous recording when plugged into a nearby electrical outlet. The benefit to 24/7 recording is that you can scroll back through your camera’s video history to see what happened, if a notification is missed.

During the holiday season, package deliveries may happen after the sun has gone down (or comes up, in some cases), making proper exterior lighting is crucial to keep your packages safe. Smart floodlight cameras like the Eufy Floodlight Cam 2 Pro can not only illuminate dark spots on your property, but also has recording capability, too, giving porch pirates the boot if they try to make off around the sides of your home with your holiday packages.

Going away for a while? You may want to arrange to have your holiday packages held at your local post office or shipping store.

Some packages are small enough to fit in your mailbox, and therefore likely fall out of view of a nearby video doorbell camera. Instead, you can use a smart sensor like the Ring Mailbox Sensor, which sends notifications to your phone when your mailbox opens and closes. This can help you know exactly when your smaller packages are delivered

The more lights, the better when it comes to properly illuminating your exterior entryway and the walkway leading up to it with path lights. Philips Hue makes our favorite smart bulb, and the Philips Hue Calla White & Color Ambiance Outdoor Pathway Light Base Kit is another great smart lighting option from Hue to light up your front yard. At least one light must be plugged into an outdoor outlet to work, but you can connect multiple units to one another for shared power.

Made from weather-proof materials, the lights last up to 25,000 hours (or roughly 1,041 days of continuous use). They can display 16 million colors (which can double for holiday decor, too), and can be set to a timer in case your UPS, USPS, FedEx, or Amazon driver comes after dark. The smart lights also work for voice control with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit.

Instead of Amazon packages piling up at your front door, opt to have the boxes left at a nearby Amazon Hub Locker. Your Amazon order(s) will be securely stored until you are ready to pick them up.

Instead of letting packages pile up on your front porch, a smart package delivery box is one way you can safeguard your holiday gift deliveries from porch pirates. The Eufy Security Smart Delivery Package Drop Box has a built-in camera and can be managed remotely via the companion app, giving you the most details when it comes to securing your packages while you’re not home.

For a non-camera package delivery option, the Architectural Mailboxes Elephantrunk Parcel Drop Box offers a way to securely store larger package deliveries instead of leaving them out on your front porch. Most package delivery drop boxes are bolted to the ground to prevent porch pirates from removing the entire unit.

Programs like Amazon Key, which allows an Amazon delivery person to leave packages inside of your house and garage via a smart lock or smart garage door opener.

It goes without saying, but looking out for your neighbors is one of the best ways to prevent holiday gifts from being stolen right off the front porch. If you’re going out of town, ask your neighbors to keep an eye out for your package deliveries and store them safely until you return.

Not everyone has a neighbor who’s at home all day to receive your parcels, so see if it’s okay to have your packages sent to your workplace. You can also ask a friend to stop by and check the porch for you, especially if you’re going to be out of town for an extended period of time.

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