5 Tips for Protecting Your Home Deliveries Against Theft
By Rowan Barry
Aug 08, 2020
Research estimates that 45 per cent of Brits have had a home delivery stolen from outside their front door. This risk has only increased during the pandemic situation, where contactless deliveries mean many parcels are being left outside homes rather than handed to recipients.
In a survey conducted by PC Mag, of 1,500 people questioned, some 25 per cent stated that they were concerned about having packages stolen. So, how to protect home deliveries from theft? Here we share our top home delivery security tips.
If you can, arrange your home deliveries for a day when you know you’ll be home. Sometimes a designated delivery date may cost more, but if you’re ordering something of value, it could be worth the extra investment.
Some couriers send notifications ahead of delivering packages, allowing you to either change the delivery day, or leave instructions. You can usually specify whether to leave the package with a neighbour, or in a safe place. It is a good idea to make use of these options wherever available.
Some online retailers will also allow you to specify a safe place for your home delivery in your account settings. Just be careful what you choose as your safe place, bearing in mind thieves tend to know many of them, such as wheelie bins and sheds for example. A safe place should be just that: safe.
A safer option is to have your delivery diverted to your workplace, or to a friend or relative who you know will be in. Alternatively, organise a click and collect so your item is kept in a secure location until you are ready to pick it up.
Tip #2 Take advantage of the benefits of CCTV
Around 72 per cent of Brits have increased their home security measures in order to combat the rise in instances of stolen doorstep deliveries.
Smart CCTV is a type of remote monitoring London homeowners are increasingly using. It allows you to view real time footage of what’s going on at your property when you’re not there. Movement sensors trigger cameras to start recording. Footage is transmitted to your smart device, allowing you to take your choice of action. This could be to trigger an alarm, or summon local help or even alert the police. Recorded footage can be used to aid a prosecution. When it comes to CCTV systems, London householders tend to be more inclined to go for the modern, smart option. It is easy to install, and offers the added benefit of portability, meaning you can take it with you should you move home.
Tip #3 Install a video doorbell
WiFi video doorbells, one of the most popular types of front door entry system, connect with a smart device. Use of the likes of Ring and Skybell is becoming more and more widespread throughout London and across the UK.
These doorbells work via a smartphone app. They allow remote monitoring of doorstep areas and also provide the user with the option to open the door should they feel confident it is safe to do so.
As soon as someone rings the doorbell, you get an alert on your smart device. You can then have a two-way conversation with the caller. In the case of a courier delivering a parcel for you, you can provide verbal instructions on where to leave it if you’re not in.
Video doorbells can also be triggered by motion, so if there is someone hanging around your door, perhaps poised to pinch a parcel, you will be alerted and able to question them remotely. They are also a good deterrent to anyone who might feel tempted to take a package left on a doorstep.
Tip #4 Invest in security lighting
Security lighting is one of the best deterrents for thieves. Few people will risk being seen taking a home delivery parcel from a well-lit doorstep after dark.
There is a lot of choice, from entrance door lights to driveway lights of many kinds. Options amongst these include permanently on, activated and switch controlled. A security expert will be able to advise you on which will best suit your needs. Providing you site your security lighting well, you will get the most out of it.
Tip #5 Use a parcel keeper
A parcel keeper is a secure container in which couriers can place your packages. You’ll need to think about where you’ll install it, and consider whether it will be large enough to accommodate the sort of sized parcels you usually receive.
Usually constructed from weather and rust-resistant galvanised steel, parcel keepers come in a range of capacities, with options including wall-mounted or floor standing.
Always be certain to securely fix your parcel keeper in place to prevent a thief making off with it, and all your parcels.
What should you do if your parcel is stolen?
The Consumer Rights Act states that when you order something online or via a catalogue, your contract is with the retailer rather than the courier. So, if your home delivery parcel has been lost, stolen or damaged, you should first get in touch with whoever you bought it from.
If the courier left your package on the doorstep without your permission, and it has gone astray, then the retailer is the one that’s in breach of its contract. It will therefore be down to them to replace or refund your item. If however you gave permission for the package to be left in a safe place or delivered to a neighbour, then if it goes missing, you may have trouble putting your case forward.
This is where your CCTV evidence will come in useful, as you can hand the matter over to the police, complete with footage of the theft taking place.
Home security advice from London’s longest serving security experts
If you are looking for innovative solutions to help protect your home deliveries, talk to Barry Bros Security. From smart CCTV systems London homeowners can easily install, to remote monitoring, door entry systems, video doorbells, intruder alarms and lots more, there is plenty of scope when it comes to safeguarding your packages.