85 per cent of home owners are habitual homefretters

Anxious Britons spend almost two hours a day worrying after leaving the house 
Britons spend an average of one hour and 53 minutes each day worrying about their homes, including everything from whether they’ve locked the door, shut the windows or left the iron on, new research from BT Smart Home Cam 100 has found. 

Most of us are habitual homefretters with 85 per cent of the nation spending an alarming amount of time worrying about what they’ve forgotten to do or check before leaving the house for work, a day out, or even on holiday. 

Top of the list was whether or not they had left the house secure enough to prevent a break in, with almost half (48 per cent) worrying about burglars and over a quarter (26 per cent) agonising over whether or not they locked the door. Other concerns included leaving pets’ home alone (29 per cent) and worrying about the oven being left on (17 per cent). 

In light of consumer worry when leaving the home, BT has launched its BT Smart Home Cam 100. Featuring an HD quality video camera, it gives users a constant view of what’s happening while they’re out. The device, which also features night-vision and motion detection, communicates with a free app, immediately notifying the user’s smartphone or tablet if any movement is identified. This allows them to take snapshots of the live video and, with the premium service, automatically store clips when motion is detected. 

Those who will be away, with limited or no internet connection, can still enjoy peace of mind, as users can nominate others – such as a friend, relative or neighbour – to keep an eye on their house and receive the notifications whilst they’re away. Multiple cameras can be set-up and named too, ensuring they have all angles covered. 

The anxiety of being away from home is such that 41 per cent of Britons admitted to having returned home to double check that everything was fine. A fifth (21 per cent) had asked a neighbour to have a look for them, seven per cent have left work to check, and one in 10 (nine per cent) have even gone so far as to return early from a holiday. 

And it seems that men are the biggest worriers, spending an average of one hour and 50 minutes a day fretting, compared to one hour and 37 minutes spent worrying by women. 

Yet women were more likely to worry about leaving the iron (12 per cent), the oven (19 per cent) and hair straighteners (17 per cent) on when they went out, with half of men (50 per cent) more likely to fret about a break in. 

Britons’ top 10 worries when they leave their homes unattended were: 
• Someone breaking in – 48 per cent 
• Leaving their pets home alone – 29 per cent 
• Forgetting to lock the door – 26 per cent 
• Leaving a window open – 18 per cent 
• Forgetting to turn the oven/hob off – 17 per cent 
• Forgetting to turn straighteners/curling wand off – 12 per cent 
• Not being home for the teenagers returning from school – 11 per cent 
• Forgetting to let the cat out – 10 per cent 
• Forgetting to turn the iron off – 10 per cent 
• Not locking the pets out of a room they're not allowed in – 10 per cent 

In reality, people were most likely to have forgotten to close a window when leaving the house, with 27 per cent having left one open in the past. Over a quarter (26 per cent) also admitted to leaving a light on and forgetting to lock the door. 
Erik Raphael, Director of Wi-Fi & Devices at BT, commented on the findings: “It’s incredible that so many of us are spending valuable hours each day worrying about what might happen while we’re away, with some even cutting short their precious holidays to check that all is well. Luckily, innovative technology like the BT Smart Home Cam can offer a second pair of eyes to those that would otherwise waste time travelling home, or sending the neighbours in – giving peace of mind and saving valuable time.”