Porch piracy is on the rise and it is here to stay, but there are things you can do to prevent packages from disappearing after they are delivered.

QUESTION: I heard you talking about home security Saturday on your broadcast. One of my neighbors had a burglar come in right through the front door. Thankfully, they were not home. What can I do to protect my home?

ANSWER: There are many things you can do to make your home less desirable to a burglar! A big percentage of robberies occur right through the front door because burglars want to be able to get into your house in 60 seconds or less.

Don’t give him a place to hide! Make sure there is a clear line of sight between your front door and the street as well as from your front door to your neighbors. Trim back all brush and make sure the area is well lit. Install motion detector lights and consider a smart doorbell. We’ve heard from some of our listeners that they like the Ring doorbell. It is easy to install and allows you to monitor the front door area while you’re away from home. You can also share your video clips with your neighbors through the Ring app so they can be aware of incidents in the neighborhood. A virtual neighborhood watch of sorts!

Q: I do a lot of online shopping. What can I do to protect the packages that are delivered? A couple of them ‘went missing’!

A: Porch piracy is on the rise and it is here to stay. There are several things you can do to prevent packages from disappearing after they are delivered and before you even enjoy your purchase. One easy solution is to schedule packages to be delivered on a day you will be home. Amazon gives this option in addition to providing Amazon Lockers throughout the city where packages can be picked up close to home via self-service kiosks.

You can purchase drop boxes or lockers designed for residential use that can be bolted to your front porch. We found a nice one called ParcelWirx by RTS Home Accents at the NHS show this year. They come in many styles: metal or plastic, vertical drop box or locker style, and also chest style. The chest style requires an external lock. Smart locks can be used to secure chests but, a common complaint is that not all delivery personnel will take the time to use them as it is an extra step for their already busy schedules. A drop box or locker style delivery box with a compartment big enough to place packages in is the best bet at this time.

To make sure your double French door isn’t broken into, secure any inactive door leaf by installing sliding bolt locks at the top of the door.

Q: I was told double French doors are easy to break into even if they have deadbolts. I have two sets of doors on my back porch. Should I replace them?

A: French doors add such a nice feature to a home so it would be a shame to change them. Here is a simple trick you can do to keep someone from simply pushing the doors open:

Secure the inactive door leaf by installing sliding bolt locks at the top of the door. Then drill a security screw to set the header lock to prevent the door from being unlocked with a burglary device. To open the door, you can still remove the screw temporarily. You can watch how to accomplish this project here: https://bit.ly/33iXyKK

It helps to use a dowel with a teacup hook mounted in the end and stored away from a garage door.

Q: How secure are garage doors?

Garage doors come with vulnerabilities, but there are ways to make it more secure: If you park your car on the outside of the garage be sure to lock it. If your garage door remote is removable, take it in the house with you. Double lock the overhead garage door at the indoor opener when you are in for the evening. Install motion detector lights above or near your garage door. Also, be sure that the door between the garage and house is a solid core door with a deadbolt. This type of door can prevent burglary to the house through the garage and will also slow fire spreading to the house should it start in the garage. One last tip: remove the chord opener from the overhead opener. Instead, to open the door manually, use a dowel with a teacup hook mounted in the end and stored away from the door.

Be sure to share this article with your neighbors. You want to send the burglars packing, but not to your neighbor’s house!

Each year, thousands of Arizona residents email or call our radio broadcast with questions. Our goal is to be every Arizona homeowner’s best friend and provide answers that suit the specific needs of Arizona residents wherever they may live. Ask Rosie on the House your homeowner questions by emailing info@rosieonthehouse.com or call 888-767-4348.

An Arizona home building and remodeling industry expert since 1978, Rosie Romero is the host of the syndicated Saturday morning Rosie on the House radio broadcast, heard locally from 8-11 a.m. on KNST-AM (790) in Tucson and from 7-10 a.m. on KGVY-AM (1080) and -FM (100.7) in Green Valley.