Most Americans Don't Feel Safe in Their Own Homes


Last updated 11/22/2015 at 3:11pm | View PDF

Home is where the heart is. But home may not always be where Americans feel safest. A new survey from Honeywell found that more than two-thirds of Americans – including 72% 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.

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% vs. 58%), according to the study.

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

By 2025, Americans, on average, believe that nearly half (44%) 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%).

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

Yet, while nearly 90% of Americans have a desire to automate their homes, 66% say cost is holding them from adding more connected features into their homes, and fewer than two in five Americans (39%) 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 of 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 two in five Americans wish they could control their lights (42%) and make sure their homes are secured (42%) when they are not home, coming in second only to pet owners who would like to feed their pets (48%) while they are away. Programming a DVR came in at 26%.

• Nearly one-third (31%) 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%), followed closely by packing essentials like toothbrushes, underwear and mobile phone chargers (36%).

• 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% versus 24%).

Better Safe than Sorry

Gone are the days of leaning on neighbors 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%) take advantage of technology to make sure their home doors are locked and windows are closed.

• Close to three in five (57%) 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%).

• More than a quarter (27%) of millennials do not lock their windows and doors before leaving home for an extended period, whereas only 19% of baby boomers and seniors do the same.

• More than 4 in 10 (41%) 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.


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