Anna Royds, Head of Marketing UK & Ireland at Electronics Line takes us through the findings of recent research conducted by YouGov for security provider RISCO.
As the one of the UK’s leading providers of integrated electronic security solutions, RISCO – the parent company of Electronics Line – decided to undertake research into the market for domestic burglar alarms in Great Britain. We were keen to uncover consumer attitudes towards intruder alarms and ﬁnd out how, where, when, and why they are being used. We also wanted to see if there is an appetite for ‘smart’ alarm systems controlled by a smartphone or a tablet, and to ascertain how they might be used as part of a ‘connected home’. The survey of 4,237 adults was carried out online between 4th and 6th January 2016 and all figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults, aged 18 and over.
A key discovery from our survey is that British householders are being left unprotected. Less than a third (32%) of British adults say they have an alarm in their home and, of these, less than half (49%) switch it on when they go on holiday. Many reasons are given for not setting an alarm but our survey reveals that one in ﬁve of Britons admit to rarely or never setting their burglar alarm because they forget to do so, while for 13% of householders it was because they fear getting false alarms. The same amount (13%) rarely or never set their alarm because they ﬁnd it too complicated.
Judging from this, the security industry has more to do to make a case for burglar alarms amongst consumers. Consumers need to be shown that today’s alarm systems are easy to operate and start at low prices.
Worryingly, 12% of householders with an alarm say they never or rarely turn it on. Of those who rarely or never set their alarm, one in ﬁve say they forget to set it, while 13% of householders rarely or never turn on their alarms because they fear getting false alarms. This rises to nearly one in four (24%) of householders aged 45 to 54.
Thankfully, the arrival of alarm systems that can be controlled by a smartphone or tablet, such as Electronic Lines SecuPlace kit, neatly address fears of false alarms and help to counter forgetfulness. The ability to set and unset a system remotely and control home safety devices such as ﬂood, smoke and CO detectors from their phone allows consumers to get more from their alarm system and should ensure that alarms are set more regularly.
In fact, the survey uncovered great interest in an alarm that can be controlled by a smartphone or tablet. Nearly one in two (46%) of those with an alarm expressed an interest in installing one, while interest remains important, at 28%, even amongst those without an alarm. Perhaps unsurprisingly given their reliance on mobile technology, interest amongst those with an alarm peaks at 70% of those aged 25-34 but, interestingly, even 28% of those aged 65+ are interested in controlling their alarm from a smartphone or tablet.
Built around security
Our survey uncovered an area of great potential for electricians in the future. We found that more than one in two (54%) householders with an alarm (and one in three of those without), are interested in installing an alarm system that controls other household systems.
However, in a sign that the debate around the Internet of Things is perhaps getting ahead of itself, householders seem to want basic functions from their connected home. They told us they want a system that would also let them boil the kettle, let the cat out and pull the curtains – practical household functions rather than more esoteric features such as fridges that automatically re-stock themselves, for example.
Perhaps the biggest learning from our survey, however, is that alarm manufacturers and electricians are in a strong position to provide and maintain connected home devices.
“When householders were asked who they would trust to provide a connected home system with an alarm which could be controlled by a smartphone or tablet, alarm manufacturers came out top (49% of those with an alarm, and 37% without an alarm).”
When householders were asked who they would trust to provide a connected home system with an alarm which could be controlled by a smartphone or tablet, alarm manufacturers came out top (49% of those with an alarm, and 37% without an alarm). In fact, householders trust them to do the job over and above their TV, internet, telephone, gas, electricity, boiler or internet search providers. Of course, the skills required to install and maintain a connected home built around an intruder alarm are different to those that many installers have developed to date. And security product manufacturers risk losing the trust of householders if they can’t deliver robust connected products at a great price.
Of course, other players are keen to stake their claim for the connected home, and some are global consumer electronics brands with deep pockets. Yet the technology is here, it’s competitively priced, it’s easily installed, and users are clearly interested in it. What’s more, our research shows that security installers are trusted to provide it.
It’s time for all of us to take advantage of this great commercial opportunity – before those in consumer electronics, telecommunications and energy providers do so!