Prevent Porch Pirates and Protect your Family with Vivint

As we survived another Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and await another Cyber Monday, we can expect numerous packages to arrive at our doors.  According to the New York Times, Americans will ship over 3 billion packages this holiday season alone.  Interestingly, the site reported a pandemic-driven increase of 800 million packages when compared to previous years, as many businesses were forced to transition away from in-person sales toward e-commerce.   Unfortunately, as job losses and financial difficulties have led some to thievery, we must stand ever more vigilant against porch pirates; with the loss of nearly 1.7 million packages per day in the USA, it is only a matter of time before you are affected directly.

As more shopping is driven online, we must look for methods to protect our purchases.  It is estimated that Amazon Prime Members receive ~51 packages per year, and one-in-three Americans have had a package stolen.  According to a C+R Research team report, these losses resulted in the loss of millions of dollars each day. To attempt to combat this loss, Amazon has installed secure locker facilities in numerous cities and activated Amazon Key, a service that allows deliveries to be placed inside a home or into the trunk of your vehicle.  Additional features may allow you to opt-in for delivery alerts/tracking information, or you can send the items to your workplace.  Lastly, you can add a layer of defense to your home in the guise of an outdoor security camera/doorbell, like the professionally installed cameras from Vivint.  

For nearly a decade, Vivint has stood sentinel over my castle, protecting that which I cannot replace. My system started out with the main hub plus door/window open/close sensors and quickly morphed into a more integrated/advanced setup.  I have been through several panel upgrades, added smart door locks, smart lighting/fixtures, smart cameras, fire/carbon monoxide sensors, freeze sensors, flood sensors, and smart outlets.  This past year, I was able to upgrade to the Vivint Doorbell Camera Pro and greatly enjoyed the smart deter feature. Instead of a simple camera that records information, the Smart Deter technology will whistle at the perpetrator to cause them to look up for the sound.  At the same time, the setup will send a notification to my smartphone (“Person Detected-Doorbell Your camera played its deter tone after it noticed someone on your porch”).  Although this tech may not dissuade everyone, knowing that the packages had even arrived will provide a great deal of relief.  The fact that the tech will also alert the thief that their presence was known, plus record the audio/video, will increase the odds that you will catch the thief and recover your property.  In fact, a recent VIVINT survey of 1000 Americans found that 1:5 (20%) felt better simply having the outdoor security camera/doorbell. 

This holiday season, as you search for that perfect gift, think about turning your average home into a Vivint Smart Home.  Customize the setup to your need and employ their Smart Deter technology to your advantage.  I have truly enjoyed the ability to have two-way communication through my Doorbell Camera Pro.  I love that the App sends alerts to my phone when packages are delivered, and when I have visitors upon my porch.  Thanks to the technology, I do not have to wait for individuals to press the doorbell to start recording, or to alert me to their presence.  I have had many conversations with my children through the Doorbell Camera Pro and have startled several unsuspecting friends/visitors with the deter chime.  Combined with the other smart home features, Vivint has helped to allay some of the fear I have when away from my home/family.  

In addition to the perks of the doorbell Pro and external Pro Cameras, I love the plethora of features that Vivint Provides. I can locally or remotely lock/unlock my doors, and I regularly use the door/window opening warnings to know when my children have created potential access points.  This has proven helpful when my older children accidentally left the door open, creating a potential safety hazard for my 2-year-old daughter.  At least twice, I had to hunt for my Boston Terrier after a door was inadvertently left open.  Next, I love that I can adjust my thermostat and can see the room temperature.  Thanks to the Element Thermostat, I was able to prevent home damage after discovering that my furnace had failed.  When my wife and I went away for a weekend, the temperature within my home dropped and did not increase when I raised the thermostat temperature.  I was able to contact family, to contact an HVAC team, and had someone available to fix my blown capacitor in only a few days.  Additionally, I love that turn on/off my lights and power outlets either locally or remotely through the app.  

Lastly, this system has directly prevented worsening property damage and possibly even saved the lives of my family.  Thanks to the flood sensor in my basement, I was alerted to the presence of water.  This led to the early discovery of pipe damage within my outer wall, just beneath an outside spigot.  I was able to quickly disconnect the water, hire a plumber, and fix the issue.  The plumber even noted how lucky we were to have this setup, as the damage/repair plus the astronomical water bill would have been painful.  Beyond the entry point camera sentry, the most life-saving feature of the setup has been the fire alarms.  I have been alerted to at least a half dozen smoke alarms over the past few years.  Once, my 12-year-old left food in the toaster too long and this caused smoke to fill the kitchen.  The alarm detected the smoke, the panel activated, and help was urgently offered.  Additionally, we have had several cooking gaffes with bacon or browning meat that led to similar results.  Even though we have not had a fire team deployed to our home, I do not doubt that the setup would have had them here faster than we could have contacted 911.  Knowing that the system is in place and monitored 24/7, especially while we sleep, may be the ultimate reason to utilize Vivint.  Without hesitation, allowing Vivint to guard my family has been one of the best decisions I have made.

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