Home safety is one of the top priorities of homeowners and renters alike, but it’s also one that doesn’t receive a lot of thought until it is needed. Retailers can help keep home security top of mind for customers by creating displays that pull products from several different categories, including reflective leashes from pet care, grab bars from plumbing and bath and cordless blinds from interior decor, in addition to whole house security systems to remind consumers of their varied home safety needs.
Included below are some of the latest trends in home security, as well as several key, yet often overlooked, product categories retailers may want to consider when developing home safety departments and creating impactful displays.
Trending: High-Tech Security
Home safety and security has continued to expand within the smartphone and home automation arena, with the development of single-interface platforms and biometric locks.
Single Interface: Most security and home facility products can now be integrated into modern home automation systems with a single user-friendly interface, providing added value and convenience. Knowledgeable retailers can guide consumers toward products that will seamlessly work together; such as the Nest, which started with a smart thermostat and expanded into indoor and outdoor cameras and a smoke/carbon monoxide sensor, and has now partnered with several companies to offer a variety of products ranging from home security, to lighting and home entertainment, to appliances and utility monitoring, all of which can be controlled through the Nest system.
Biometrics: In addition to home automation, one of the newer areas seeing a growing interest among consumers is biometrics, mainly in use of fingerprint or voice recognition to access or control specific products or functions. According to a 2016 Business Wire article, consumers are increasingly feeling more comfortable with the use of biometric technology. Some examples of biometric-enabled products include door locks, like those by iTouchless, or gun safes, like those by GunVault.
Don’t Overlook These 3 Home Safety Categories
The American Planning Association reports that by 2040, close to half of the U.S. population will be comprised of individuals under 18 or over 65 years old, and many will be living in multi-generational households, making the sandwich generation responsible for the safety of elderly family members as well as their children. In addition to the growing number of young and old, more and more households are also adding at least one four-legged family member. According to a January 2016 article in REALTOR® Mag, the number of homebuyers who want pet-friendly residences is climbing.
The need for home safety products to cover these growing numbers shouldn’t be overlooked. Their inclusion could lead retailers to a popular niche, or at least a few top-selling products like those included below.
Safety for young families: For families, young children can mean increased attention to safety around the home. Items such as cabinet and toilet seat locks, door knob covers and plug protectors (like those by Safety 1st), help prevent toddlers from accessing potentially dangerous items, while toe-kick step stools, like these showcased on Houzz.com, can help smaller children reach sinks and other areas without resorting to climbing on counters, drawers or chairs. Additionally, cordless window blinds (like those by Bali) reduce chances of accidental strangulation.
Monitors and alarms are also a key ingredient in keeping young children safe. Open-door alarms, like those by Sabre, let caregivers know when a child has opened an exterior door, and for homes with pools, alarms for both gates and in pool are available to alert parents when the pool area has been accessed (for example PoolGuard alarms). Infants are even covered by items like Mimo, a smart device which monitors baby’s position, breathing, temperature and activity, sending push alerts to a smartphone when needed, and can integrate with the Nest thermostat system to provide proper temperature conditions for little ones, as well as Nest cameras so parents can check on baby without disrupting his or her sleep.
Safety when aging in place: Like young children, older individuals can require specialized safety equipment. Aging-in-place has become a growing trend, as many baby boomers are avoiding assisted-living facilities in order to lead more active lifestyles in the comfort of their own homes. Some of the products that are helpful for older individuals include:
- Raised toilet seats
- Grab bars for tubs and showers
- Zero-threshold shower stalls and walk-in tubs
- Exterior ramps
- Nonslip/skid mats for throw rugs
- Video doorbells, such as Ring or SkyBell
Additionally, wearable safety alert devices have continued popularity, thanks in part to more discrete or fashionable appearances; for example, Great Call’s Lively wearable, not only has the appearance of a fitness tracker, but the functionality as well, along with fall detection and alerting capabilities.
Pets and Home Safety: Pets are often overlooked when consumers think about home safety, but they too can get into dangerous situations around the home. Some things retailers can offer homeowners with pets include pet-safe landscaping materials, plants, and ice-melt products (like Safe Paw Ice Melter) non-toxic household cleaners (like Simple Green or Seventh Generation), flea and tick repellants, reflective leashes and lost pet trackers, like Whistle or Paw Tracker.
Additionally, window decals can notify emergency personnel to the presence of animals in the home. These decals are available as part of a free pet safety pack through the ASPCA, but retailers can suggest them as part of a total home safety checklist.
Become a Home Safety Resource
When it comes to home safety, retailers can be a terrific source of products and product information, but that’s not all; retailers can also be a resource for general safety information that can help direct the consumer and give them the ability to customize safety systems to meet their particular needs.
Safety Checklists: One way retailers can accomplish this is by offering safety checklists, like those found at Home Safety Smartcheck, or by providing information on where to find safety information, like a wallet card with phone numbers and web addresses to groups such as FEMA or the American Association of Poison Control Centers and local Poison Control Center hotline number.
Community Safety Day: Additionally, retailers can sponsor a Community Safety Day; by partnering with local fire, police, and health departments, retailers can facilitate community contact with the organizations, as well as bring consumers to their stores.