Safety in Numbers? Not So, Survey Says

Rob Puric by Rob Puric | 11.09.2015

Do we truly understand why people don’t feel safe in their homes?

That’s the question I asked myself last month when Honeywell released survey results regarding the use of connected-home technologies, and consumer attitudes about those technologies. The results indicate more than two-thirds of Americans don’t feel totally safe in their own homes. That starts to make more sense when you consider results of the latest Crime poll conducted by Gallup, which shows seven out of 10 Americans perceive there’s more crime this year than last. Whether that perception matches reality is up for debate. If you consider that people think crime is on the rise, though, it’s understandable that some may not feel safe inside their homes.

Honeywell Connected Home Security Survey

A recent Honeywell survey found that people who live with more than one person were more likely to feel unsafe in their homes than people who live alone.

Surprising Findings
Respondents who live with more than one person were more likely to feel unsafe in their homes versus people who live alone (71 percent vs. 58 percent). Some may think the “safety-in-numbers” concept would lead people to feel safer, but the results suggest otherwise. The data reveals other key findings that might explain why.

  1. Respondents who identified themselves as parents were more likely than non-parents to admit they don’t always feel safe at home (75% vs. 65%), and fret about their home not being secure enough (52% vs. 42%).
  2. Fewer non-married individuals said they had security alarm systems in their homes, compared to those who are married (18% vs. 28%).
  3. Only 14% of respondents living alone said they have a home security alarm compared to 25% of households of two or more people.

There are a few things to consider about these results:  First, it’s a reasonable assumption that many people who live with others feel less safe than those who live alone because those “other people” they live with are their children. And any parent will tell you they naturally are always concerned for their children’s safety. And secondly, it doesn’t always have to be all about children; spouses naturally are concerned for each other’s safety as well.

The point is: when other people enter the picture, a homeowner may feel a greater sense of responsibility for their safety and wellbeing, and thus pay more attention to a home’s security and safety vulnerabilities.

What Does this Mean for Security Dealers?
It means there’s a greater need to design and provide systems that do more than just solve for security vulnerabilities; they must also solve for the elusive “peace-of-mind” factor. There were other findings in the survey that support this notion:

  • 42% of respondents said they would want to use a connected home system to make sure their homes are secured when away.
  • Locking the doors tops the list of things worrying Americans as they head out for vacation.
  • 34 percent of consumers with a security system are unsure if they remembered to turn it on before leaving for vacation.

It’s one thing to make sure security systems address vulnerabilities; the system also should “feel” secure for the homeowner.