Think you’re the only one sitting in traffic wondering whether you left the iron, oven or hair straightener on? Think again. Because according to a 2014 survey in the UK, “fear of leaving on” is a very real thing and it’s a lot more common that you think.

Here’s an insight into the statistics of FOLO (as fear of leaving on is nicknamed), and how the smart home can assist.

FOLO poll reveals our everyday fears

Whether it was due to idle curiosity or in a bid to understand the average citizen better, in 2014 Honeywell commissioned a survey of 2000 Britons to determine what worried them when they left the house. This report was also published on MailOnline.

According to the Daily Mail, the poll revealed millions of English people were concerned they had left appliances on after exiting their home, with at least a third stressing as regularly as once a week that appliances were still on at home.

Heating topped the list of concerns, with 32 per cent of people worried their heating was warming a vacant space.

Almost a quarter of people (24 per cent) were anxious they’d left their hair straightener on, 23 per cent fretted over the lights, 22 per cent fixated on the oven and 19 per cent questioned whether they had turned off the TV.

The survey further found women were more likely to worry, stressing over whether their appliances were on or off 52 times a year, compared to men who worried marginally less at 49 times a year.

Other items people worried about included computers being left on (18 per cent), electronics remaining on charge (17 per cent), the iron (17 per cent), radio (six per cent) and games consoles (five per cent), the Daily Mail continued.

So, with possibly a third of the population side-tracked by the state of their appliances at any give time, what can you do to alleviate the fear?

Addressing the fear of leaving on

Search the internet and there are some helpful hacks to assist in addressing the fear that appliances have been left home alone, racking up a huge power bill or even worse threatening the safety of your home.

One site even notes you can take a quick snapshot of your appliances for visual proof you’ve switched your hair straightener, oven or iron off. But if you’re looking for a more intuitive, permanent fix, the smart home offers the perfect modern-day method to assist.

The Smart Home and FOLO

In the smart home, rather than wondering whether you actually turned an item off or left it running, you can check it on your smart phone via your smart home app.

And here’s how it works…

In the intuitive, fully connected smart home, items like fixtures, fittings and power points can include sensors that allow you to determine what state an item is in.

This information is relayed to the home’s smart hub, which can be accessed via an app. That means you can see exactly what items are drawing power within a home via a tablet, PC, smart phone or any device that can access the app.

The upshot is, whether you’re on your way to work or at the airport waiting to go on holidays, you can quickly check a relevant power point or appliance to see if you’ve left something on.

Not only that, the technology also allows you to take action. So, if you find the power point for that hair straightener is indeed on, you can switch it off remotely from the app on your phone.

But that’s not the only benefit smart home technology offers when it comes to allaying everyday fears.

Windows and doors

Worried you’ve left the front door unlocked, or failed to shut the garage?

The smart home has you covered. The same methods that allow you to gauge whether your power points or appliances are on can tell you whether your doors and windows are open or closed.

That also means you can lock or unlock your front door or garage door remotely, or better yet, set it to automatically lock when you leave the premises.

Meanwhile, the home is also smart enough to respond to prevailing conditions. So, an open skylight might shut automatically, should a sensor determine it’s raining.

Security, automation and alarms

While the smart home helps allay your fears by allowing you to view areas of your home remotely and take action, it can also alert you to a potential problem via security, automation and alarms.

Cameras and sensors in the smart home allow you to physically see your home environment even when you’re away, but importantly enable your home to notify you if something goes awry.

Say you’re at work and someone comes to the front door. The smart door can let you know. You can then even talk to the person at the door using intercom, while a camera will show you who they are.

Now imagine they’re loitering with less than honourable intent. The same system can record their presence, security lighting might activate and should they attempt to gain entry an alarm will sound.

Meanwhile, inside the home, smoke, flooding and CO2 alarms can alert you to other problems – like a cracked pipe that’s causing water to pool on the floor, smoke from a potential fire, and rising CO2 that you cannot see or smell.

With further smart home features, you are able to take action to mitigate the threat. You can remotely shut off the water, activate the sprinkler system, turn on ventilation to disperse smoke, or evacuate the home using automated emergency lighting.

So, if you have a fear of leaving on, or are just concerned about everyday home safety, it’s a problem you never need stew over in the smart home.

About Lera Smart Home Solutions

Lera Smart Home Solutions is a leading installer of smart home technology in the greater Sydney region. Our team boasts over 20 years’ experience in IT networking, programming and the electrical industry.

We have sourced the most reliable and cost efficient solutions from around the world to provide the very best in smart home solutions, and work with our clients to understand their needs.

You can learn more about transforming your house into a smart home, or contact us directly for further advice.