New Research Uncovers Fear of Leaving On Appliances is a Major Worry


We’ve all done it -- shut the door, begin our journey and then realize we can’t remember if we turned off the iron, the oven or maybe even the heat. We rack our brains to reassure ourselves that heating bill won’t double this month or that our home is not going to catch fire because we left on the iron. Little did we know that there’s a term for this condition: “Fear of Leaving On” or FOLO for short.

A recent independent survey on FOLO commissioned by Honeywell revealed further details around exactly what residents of the U.K. fear they left on while away from home. While the survey showed homeowners thought of everything from appliances to gadgets to lights, the nation’s top worry was leaving the heating on, with 32 percent of respondents admitting to this concern.

The survey, carried out amongst a statistically representative sample of 2,000 U.K. home owners during May 2014 by independent research company One Poll, found:

  • FOLO affects a third of us every week: More than 16 million adults across the U.K. (33%)* worry at least once a week that they’ve left things on at home.
  • Heating and hair top our worries: While leaving the heating on topped the poll of worried UK adults (32%), surprisingly the second-most worried about household item, at 24%, is part of many women’s morning routines: hair straighteners.
  • Turn on, tune in, go out: Regularly used items like lights (23%), ovens (22%), TVs (19%) and computers (18%) were all cited as items that cause nagging worries. 

FOLO infographic

Putting Your Mind To Rest

Honeywell commissioned the research to shed light on the increasingly important issue of energy wastage, a realistic outcome if appliances are left on when homeowners leave home. Indeed, 46 percent of people surveyed worry about wasting energy. Given that 82 percent of the average family’s energy bill is used on heating the home and hot water**, this remains an area of concern.

However, there are solutions available. Features of the connected home will enable all of us to access appliances and systems in our homes from wherever we are so we can turn off the lights, close the garage door, or turn down the heat as needed.

EvohomeFor example, smart thermostats have made it possible for consumers to quickly and easily monitor and control their heating – if not their hair straighteners. The Honeywell Total Connect Comfort platform, for example, empowers people to put their mind to rest by providing the ability to keep an eye on their home heating and turn it up, down, on or off from an app on their smartphone.

Honeywell’s evohome – an intelligent heating system that wirelessly controls heating room-by-room– can also be controlled remotely via a smartphone app, so heating can be switched off wherever you may be, eliminating the need to worry about whether the heat is on or off.  

For more information, visit getconnected.honeywell.com or follow @Hon_Home_EU on Twitter.

*Based on UK population data from ONS.  UK adult population of 49,122,174 (ONS: 2010).  ** Source DECC 2013