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Americans don’t feel totally safe in their homes, says survey

Home is where the heart is. But home may not always be where Americans feel safest. A new survey from Honeywell, which sought to uncover the drivers and motivations behind the adoption of connected home technology, found that more than two-thirds of Americans – including 72 percent of women – do not always feel totally safe in their own homes, though technology may be the security blanket people need to feel connected, comfortable, and secure.

October 23, 2015  By  SP&T Staff

And while safety in numbers used to provide peace of mind, today, people living in households with more than one person are actually more likely to feel unsafe in their home versus people living alone (71 percent vs. 58 percent), according to the study.

Security is a key driver for at-home connectivity, with 60 percent of Americans thinking it would be “cool” to have an app that controls locks and doors, followed by lighting (51 percent), heating and cooling (49 percent), and a surveillance or security camera (42 percent).

By 2025, Americans, on average, believe that nearly half (44 percent) of all of the items in their homes will be connected. This is more than triple the amount of items that Americans estimate are connected in their homes today (14 percent).

U.S. consumers also rank smart home technology as more useful than other “connected” innovations: more than 7 in 10 (73 percent) would take a connected home over a driverless vehicle, and 63 percent think an app that connects their home is more useful than one that tracks their physical activity.


Yet, while nearly 90 percent of Americans have a desire to automate their homes, 66 percent say cost is holding them from adding more connected features into their homes, and fewer than 2 in 5 Americans (39 percent) with smart thermostats use them to adjust their homes’ temperatures when traveling.

“People want to be comfortable, safe and in control at home; it’s what we’ve heard from our customers for over a century,” said Jeremy Eaton, president, Honeywell Connected Home. “Those sentiments aren’t likely to change. Our goal is to keep innovating to meet those needs with smart products and services that improve people’s lives.”

Automation Nation
From recording favorite TV shows to taking care of pets, Americans see many uses for the connected home.

– More than 2 in 5 Americans wish they could control their lights (42 percent) and make sure their homes are secured (42 percent) when they are not home, coming in second only to pet owners who would like to feed their pets (48 percent) while they are away. Programming a DVR came in at 26 percent.
– Nearly one-third (31 percent) of Americans would prefer an app that can control their home devices to be voice activated rather than with a touchscreen.

Forget Me Not
People, particularly millennials, no longer live life on a rigid schedule, and the lack of consistency can leave consumers wondering about their homes when on the road.

– Locking the doors tops the list of things worrying Americans as they head out the door for vacation (39 percent), followed closely by packing essentials like toothbrushes, underwear, and mobile phone chargers (36 percent).
– Thirty-four percent of consumers with a security system are unsure if they remembered to turn it on before leaving for vacation.
– Forgetting to unplug fire hazards is a more common concern among women than men (30 percent versus 24 percent).

Better Safe than Sorry
Gone are the days of leaning on neighbours to keep an eye out on things when away. For a generation that is accustomed to managing their lives with mobile devices, they are not fully using the available tools.

– Sixty-nine percent of Americans check personal email when traveling, while less than 1 in 5 (19 percent) take advantage of technology to make sure their home doors are locked and windows are closed.
– Close to three in five (57 percent) social media users log onto networks like Facebook and Twitter when traveling, far outnumbering those Americans with surveillance cameras who, while away from home, use technology to check their security footage (44 percent).
– More than a quarter (27 percent) of millennials do not lock their windows and doors before leaving home for an extended period, whereas only 19 percent of baby boomers and seniors do the same.
– More than 4 in 10 (41 percent) Americans admit that they do not arrange for extra precautions when leaving their home for work or personal travel for at least a few days.

About the Survey
The Honeywell Home Connectivity Survey was conducted between July 20-27, 2015, around 1,031 nationally representative Americans, ages 18 and over. The invitation was sent via email and survey was conducted online. Quotas are set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the entire US population, ages 18 and older. Results of the sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. In this study, there is a 95 in 100 chance that the survey data does not vary, with 3.1 percent margin of error.

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