Online shopping and home deliveries are a common part of many people’s lives, but they can also cause problems. Among those issues, package theft is one of the most common.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways to prevent package theft in apartment buildings. We’ve rounded up five of the best solutions to help keep your packages safe and your building secure.
1. Lock the Door
Package theft is a major concern for apartment property management teams. Aside from increasing retention rates, creative package theft solutions can help residents feel safer and increase their overall experience with your community.
As more people shop online, there’s a good chance that your building receives a lot of deliveries. This can be especially problematic during the holiday season, when packages can pile up quickly.
Having packages stored in a locker, or a secure area for couriers to drop off and pick up, can be a good way to protect your residents from package theft. However, these types of lockers still aren’t 100% reliable. Couriers can still take your packages if they’re not placed in the lockers, and some delivery drivers will ignore the lockers entirely if it’s too difficult or time-consuming to deal with them.
Another option for preventing package theft is to install an intercom system or other access control method. These devices let couriers in using a variety of methods, and they can also help keep unwanted guests out of your building.
If you’re in charge of a large apartment complex, you can even consider hiring a doorman to keep an eye on the building and watch for potential thieves. This strategy works best if you hire several doormen, so they’re available 24 hours a day.
Alternatively, you can also invest in a parcel locker that’s equipped with a smart lock and provides a contact-free pick-up and delivery system. These smart lockers accept delivery packages and automatically send a notification to the recipient when the delivery is ready. These are the ideal solution for apartment communities looking to prevent package theft.
2. Install a Doorbell Camera
A doorbell camera is a great way to prevent package theft in your apartment. This security device uses AI technology to “see” packages and alert you if they’re delivered, so you know who’s at your door before answering.
It also records if anyone tries to steal your package, so you have proof of a thief’s behavior. And most video doorbells also have two-way talk, so you can speak to the person who’s at your doorstep without exposing yourself to the risk of someone sneaking in.
In addition to installing a doorbell camera, you can also invest in an intercom system for your building’s front door. These systems allow carriers to leave packages behind the locked front door and take time-and-date-stamped photos for added security.
Another option for protecting packages in your apartment is to install a package locker. These metal or plastic boxes sit on a porch and are weighted so no one can walk off with them.
Porch piracy is an increasingly common issue, with more and more couriers choosing to deliver packages on unattended steps or porches. Despite the fact that it’s a crime, less than 10% of porch pirate cases result in police arrests.
This is because many people don’t know who’s on their porch until it’s too late and the police arrive. That’s why it’s important to install a porch surveillance system that monitors your porch and alerts you if there are any suspicious people around.
When shopping for a porch surveillance system, it’s important to check the cameras’ weatherproofing. If you live in a rainy or snowy area, be sure that the camera can stand up to the elements. It’s also important to ensure that the camera supports your wireless network. Most wireless security cameras are only compatible with 2.4 GHz networks, but you should check to make sure your router supports both frequencies.
3. Install a Video Doorbell
Apartment residents need a reliable way to prevent package theft in their buildings. One way to keep packages secure is to install a video doorbell, which works with a smartphone app to relay a video feed from the camera to the paired monitoring device whenever it is pressed.
Some video doorbells also have two-way audio, so you can speak with anyone at your door and communicate with couriers when a delivery is made while you are not home. Some have motion detection sensors, which will send a notification when someone comes close to your door so you can see who is there.
In addition to preventing package theft, installing a video doorbell can give you peace of mind knowing that you are always able to see who is at the door, even when you’re away. It’s an extra security feature that can be particularly helpful if you have young children or work a full-time job, and you don’t have the time to check your front door every hour.
Another great advantage of a video doorbell is that it allows you to record footage for later review. Many of them store video in the cloud, while others save it on local storage such as a micro-SD card.
The quality of the video footage can help you catch porch pirates who take packages off a stoop or the front yard without a resident’s knowledge, and it can also be a valuable piece of evidence for police to use in a criminal investigation. A good video doorbell can be an affordable way to provide extra protection for your property and protect your residents from porch piracy. But be sure to choose one with excellent app support and a high-quality camera.
4. Set Up a Requirement for a Signature
One of the most effective ways to prevent package theft in apartments is to set up a requirement for a signature. This ensures that the delivery person will not leave a package at the door or lobby of your building without a valid signature from a resident.
With more and more Americans ordering things online, the number of packages people receive is also on the rise. And while house deliveries can sometimes be discreet, apartment buildings often have more foot traffic in front of the entrance.
That means apartment property managers face a huge challenge when it comes to accepting and managing deliveries. The sheer volume of packages they receive means that staff not only have to accept them but also store them in a safe place that only they can access.
For a small community with 100 units, that’s up to 500 packages per month. With that much to manage, it’s no wonder package theft is on the rise.
While many community owners and residents can’t seem to do anything about the rising number of packages, there are some easy steps that people can take to help prevent package theft in their apartment.
First, be sure to sign up for a shipping option that requires a signature before it’s released. This can include having your parcel delivered to a UPS Access Point or Amazon Hub, requesting that it be sent to a pickup location or leaving a note for the delivery driver with instructions on where they can leave the package (usually in the driveway or garage).
Additionally, setting up security cameras by the main entrance to your building can also help deter thieves. The footage can be used to identify the culprit and help police track down those responsible.
5. Set Up a Lockbox
Apartments are responsible for receiving a lot of packages, so it’s important to ensure that these parcels stay safe. The easiest way to do this is by setting up a lockbox for your residents’ packages.
A lockbox is a metal or plastic container that is placed on a porch or front door. The delivery person will drop the package into the box, but only you and your resident can open it. These boxes can be a great way to prevent porch piracy and other forms of package theft in apartments.
If your apartment doesn’t have an approved parcel locker, you can ask for one to be installed. Some buildings have them in the lobby, while others have them in an outdoor mail area. These lockers are typically weighted, so they can’t be opened by anyone without a key.
Some modern buildings even have computerized parcel lockers, which require a code to unlock the door instead of a key. These are very secure and are a great solution for apartments that receive a lot of packages or have a high risk of porch piracy.
In addition to preventing package theft, a lockbox can also prevent identity fraud. Identity thieves will steal information such as a customer’s social security number or bank account numbers, which can lead to credit card accounts and other financial problems.
These types of theft are very common, so it’s important to protect your personal information as much as possible. In order to help with this, consider a combination of lock boxes and safes for the best protection.
When choosing a lockbox, be sure to choose one that is made of high-quality materials and can withstand heavy use. It’s also a good idea to get a box that is specifically designed for apartment or realty properties so that you can be sure it will fit securely into the door handle.