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Package Delivery Security

With a recent and significantly higher influx of online shopping, grocery and liquor store delivery, DIY meal kits and more restaurant take-out delivery options than ever, communities, mail rooms and lobbies are becoming overwhelmed with boxes and visitors.

What are buildings doing about package delivery security?

Some buildings have a computer program that can log packages and the residents get a text message when the package is picked up/dropped off from the courier. Some carriers offer a delivery picture while others still use the paper log method, and a phone call is placed.

When takeout food or groceries are delivered, the resident is called immediately. Amazon, UPS, USPS and FedEx offer a resident a 7–10-day period to pick up the package and are reached several times by phone and once the building management gives permission, the package is released back to the courier.

What major problems are high-rise communities facing with this trend?

On most days, anything can happen at any time. Some issues that can occur include, domestic trespassing or unauthorized visits. While not all unauthorized visitors pose a threat, each instance needs to take the proper precaution and be treated as such.

All security officers are instructed to dial 911 or emergency services if any of these situations arise. A security officer's obligation is to observe and report ONLY. They are not police and do not have any police authority.

What actions can communities and high- rise buildings take to ensure safely delivered packages?

A building still using a paper log system can eliminate that process and incorporate a computer software program. A computer software program makes it easier to track visitor history and keep accurate records of all the information.

What programs are common? How do they work?

Building Link is one of the more popular programs currently in use. Most buildings will provide a secondary screen that all the residents can see and view packages that were documented by apartment number. For example, if the resident of 13B sees that 13B is listed on the screen they can simply ask the guard to retrieve the package. This program offers a text message update as well as when the package was dropped off by the courier. If the resident is not available, the package is then locked up in the package room until it is ready to be picked up.

How are visitors monitored?

Having a visual on all tenants and visitors is the first step. Using a software program or a paper roster sheet.

What is the procedure?

Every resident in every building has a roster sheet with a “no call needed.” If a name is listed in this area access is granted. If the name is not listed, a call is placed to the resident and the resident can allow or deny access.

Is this a one-size fits all approach?

Yes – it is a good practice to have a standard procedure across different buildings and properties to keep things consistent.

How can security and concierge representatives assure property managers and tenants that they are safe in high rise buildings & communities?

A tour system should be incorporated to ensure all exits and entrances are secured. Gate houses should ensure all residents have an access RFID tag or remote to access a resident only gate. Most gate houses, if not all, have 3 sets of gates 1 for exit, 2 for entrance. The entrance lane consists of 1 gate for residents that have an RFID tag or a remote control for remote access and the visitor lane where the visitor arriving needs to interact with the security guard on duty.

What is the procedure when a resident receives a package requiring a signature but isn’t available? Usually, the Security or front desk concierge is given permission by the resident as part of the building bylaws so the security guard can sign for the package.

Prior to receiving a package, most residents will set up special instructions with the concierge at the front desk. The concierge will then view those instructions when issues such as signing for packages on behalf of the resident occurs. If specific instructions were not set up by the resident to the front desk, then the concierge will contact the resident or a family member for verification as to sign for it or have it sent back. If we cannot reach the resident or a family member, the package should not be signed for, sending it back to the parcel delivery person.

It is good practice to have a standard procedure and programs in place across all your properties. This will ensure the safety of residents and their deliveries.

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