Homeowner tasks for fall

APPLIANCES

Whisper to them. Do a rain dance. Whatever it takes to get your old appliances to wait until fall to go on the fritz. Manufacturers bring out their latest models during the fall, and store owners offer big sales on appliances they want to move out — like last year’s most popular dishwasher. So September, October, and November are great months to buy.

But October is right in the middle — when there’s still plenty of selection, and retailers might be more willing to haggle.

Refrigerators are the exception because new models don’t come out until spring.

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5 Ways to Reduce Packages Being Stolen

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5 Ways to Catch and/or Prevent Package Thieves

You have fallen in love with the convenience of online shopping, but aren’t feeling too secure in the notion that your packages will be waiting for you when you return home from work. Approximately 750 million packages will be delivered this holiday season (up 12% from last year) and package theft rates are also in the millions (11 million in the last year, to be exact). Burglars are keen on knowing where and when to look for expensive and profitable deliveries.

To boot, December 22nd is expected to be the largest delivery day of the year. With that in mind, check out the top 5 ways to prevent and/or catch pesky package thieves!

1) Send your packages to your work address
We like this tip because there is always someone available to receive -  and sign for - deliveries at a business, which means your packages never go unattended. Another option is to send your packages to your retired parents’ or grandparents’ home. Think of someone who is at home during the day and ask to use their address. It’s less convenient, but much safer than leaving your packages to chance for the “porch pirates!”

2) Utilize tools provided by package carriers
Each carrier offers the option to sign upon delivery. Utilizing this feature means your packages cannot be left without your consent. After so many attempts, your package will be safely held for you to pick up at your chosen carrier location.

Consider setting up delivery text alerts, which means you know exactly when your packages have arrived. If you aren’t home, you could send a trusted neighbor to grab them for you until you return home.

Try requesting a ‘recorded delivery’ from the USPS, which requires that an official ‘record of posting and delivery’ is created for each piece. This takes the signature option one step further.

3) Leave a note
You can take matters into your own hands in a much less technologically savvy way by leaving a note. If you have special instructions for your carrier, write a note and make it visible. They are likely to comply with your request, so long as it’s reasonable. Perhaps there’s a spot that is out-of-view from the street or room in between your screen door and door for smaller packages. This option is a little riskier but more convenient than having to retrieve your package from somewhere else!

4) Amazon Lockers
Amazon offers a locker service, similar to a PO Box. Consumers order online as usual, and have packages shipped to their chosen Amazon Locker location. Lockers can also be used for returns, too, but are typically available only in larger cities! Consider a PO Box if Amazon Lockers are not an option.

5) Help the authorities – and yourself – by installing a video surveillance system
Package theft is just too easy, but catching package thieves can be just as easy. Seattle PD Det. Scotty Bach told geekwire.com, “[I]f you have the means and can afford a surveillance system, please get it, because it does help us track down these repeat offenders. If we can identify somebody who we think is a package thief, we can follow them around.”

Whatever your motivation, you can never be too safe when it comes to package delivery and home security. We always recommend taking as many safety measures as possible to keep burglars from having any interest in your “smart” home and belongings. Each security measure is designed to help you prevent lost or stolen packages, because sometimes you have to be your own safeguard.