Feeling secure in our homes is one of the most important factors for UK homeowners, yet many of us are gambling with our wellbeing by not locking our windows and doors, a new study has shown.
Almost all of the 1,000 UK homeowners (98.7 per cent) surveyed by Everest said that feeling secure in their homes was important or very important to them, yet only just over two thirds (69 per cent) of those with windows locks always use them, and one in seven (14.8 per cent) still leave their front doors unlocked, locking them only when the house is left unattended. Alarmingly, over half of those questioned admitted they can’t always remember locking their home when they go out.
Half of those questioned in the survey had been burgled, with the vast majority (93.8 per cent) saying they made changes to their home security or behaviour as a result of the burglary, including fitting or upgrading locks and installing external lighting, CCTV and burglar alarms. Almost one in ten respondents (9.1 per cent) bought a dog as a result of being burgled, while some even said they had taken the drastic measure of moving house due to the impact of the burglary (2.8 per cent).
While the mess and practicalities following a break-in are a frustration, the survey showed that it was the psychological effects that had the most impact. Almost half of the 500 respondents who had been burgled (46.5 per cent) said they felt unsafe in their home afterwards and more than a third (37.6 per cent) had problems sleeping as a result of the burglary.
TV psychologist Emma Kenny explains why feeling safe in our homes is such an important factor in our overall feeling of wellbeing: “The quote ‘home is where the heart is’ reflects the emotional connection that we feel when we think about the safe haven it provides, so it unsurprising that being burgled or feeling cold were considered the two top threats to wellbeing in our homes.
“Having a space that is filled with our possessions and the people we love makes our home a unique and sacred territory, adding to our sense of personal wellbeing. Unfortunately, on occasion, this sense of security can be challenged due to things like burglary, with those affected often feeling that it impacts their overall wellbeing, which makes sense as suddenly a place that felt private and safe has been violated.
“Human beings crave feelings of security and belonging, two attributes that happy homes offer, and the Danish term ‘hygge’ encapsulates this feeling of cosiness and contentment, which can only be achieved when we are fully at ease and feel warm and safe.
“Thankfully there are some really simple measures that we can all take to improve the sense of ‘hygge’ in our homes, from ensuring we lock our doors and windows, and getting involved with a neighbourhood watch scheme, through to reducing clutter, eliminating draughts and creating a ‘shared’ space where family members can get together for meals or film nights.”
The survey was conducted by Everest to coincide with the recent launch of its advanced GrabLock window locks. Everest’s Marketing Director, Martin Troughton, said: “The survey findings highlighted that although we tend to recognise the fundamental importance of feeling safe and secure in our homes, many of us are still being complacent when it comes to home security, taking unnecessary risks with our homes and our happiness.
“Everest has been helping British homeowners keep their homes secure and warm for more than 50 years and advanced technology such as GrabLock takes that security to a new level, providing virtually impenetrable locks that mean homeowners have the reassurance and peace of mind needed to be able to really make the most of their homes and their hygge.”
Exclusive to Everest, GrabLock has three times more contact area along the locking mechanism than an average window lock. It has been rigorously tested for strength and security, and has achieved the Secured by Design seal of approval – a police initiative to ‘design out crime’ with physical security.
Published on the 25/05/2017