Americans questioning their home security measures after long nights of bingeing true crime series

·3-min read

If you get spooked by bumps in the night, you're not alone. New research found over half (53%) of Americans get out of bed to investigate unexplained noises, even though they know it's likely nothing.

The study asked 2,000 Americans about their nighttime routines and found three-quarters of respondents always double-check the front door is locked before bed.

Respondents' nightly routines start with the front door (66%), then closing all blinds and curtains (55%) and making sure all windows are closed and locked (42%).

After securing these access points, respondents then turn on the outdoor lights (28%) and check that the garage door is closed (21%).

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Arlo, a smart home security brand, the survey found 66% of respondents agreed they'd rather seem overly cautious when it comes to their home security because it makes them feel safer.

The survey also found a unique common thread behind Americans' security habits - their TV habits. Respondents who are fans of true crime were the most likely to take their home security seriously - with 39% agreeing their love-hate relationship with the genre has led them to take their security habits more seriously.

Funnily enough, nearly half of respondents said they can get so spooked by their TV watching habits, they need to clear their heads with something funny or light-hearted to feel more at ease with their home's security setup.

And it's no wonder pollsters can get a bit jumpy, as the average respondent noted that they hear an unexplained bump in the night an average of three times a week, and two out of these three times they get spooked.

After hearing an unexplained noise in the middle of the night, the top thought respondents have is "it must be the wind," at 44%, closely followed by "it's probably nothing" at 34%. Nineteen percent of respondents, however, think "is that a burglar?" 

Forty-one percent of respondents said they jump out of bed to investigate themselves, and 23% prefer to poke their partner to get out of bed.

Of those surveyed, 48% have a home security system, and 81% of these respondents were in agreement it was all for peace of mind.

"It's a natural tendency to check and double check our surroundings to gain a greater sense of security," said Lily Knowles, SVP of Marketing and Customer Care for Arlo. "The survey results underscore the fundamental and universal need for peace of mind. Even when Americans know their home is secured, they still look for added reassurance before they can really feel at ease and fall asleep."

For those who have a home security system, 22% immediately check that - but 10% of respondents are a bit more extreme, grabbing anything that can be used for protection should the noise be an intruder.

Sixteen percent of those polled would rather roll the dice with a bump in the night, saying they just roll over and ignore the odd noise.

"Whether or not people get out of bed to investigate something they heard, there are more resources available now than ever to help them feel safe in their own homes," said Knowles. "Installing a smart home security camera or video doorbell gives consumers an added layer of protection. The Arlo app and smart notifications not only allow users to immediately check what's going on, but also helps provide added reassurance, allowing them to look back at their video recordings if it turns out that the unexpected sound was something more than just a stray animal or the wind."