The new “Homies” social alarm system was launched in the Netherlands earlier this month through a partnership between Dutch ICMIF member Achmea and HEMA stores (a Dutch value chain of shops with a flair for colourful designs). This is the start of a comprehensive alliance between HEMA and Achmea to enhance their customers’ security with an affordable social alarm system. Homies Alarm is an Achmea initiative. After purchasing the Homies smart alarm system, the customer is connected to the most advanced social alarm response system. The “Homies” social alarm system will be available online and from a number of HEMA stores from this month.
Homies is a system that operates with a social alarm. Once it’s installed, the user enter the telephone numbers of his/her neighbours, family and friends living nearby in the Homies app. If the sensors in the home detect a fire or movement when the app user is not at home, then friends and neighbours are notified through a temporary WhatsApp group and asked to check the house. This means that people known to the app user are at the door within a few moments to help. After the situation has been dealt with, the temporary WhatsApp group is automatically deleted. With Homies, HEMA is offering an easily accessible solution for people who want to make their homes more secure with the help of friends and neighbours.
“Homies is simple and affordable and above all”, says Achmea, “improves social cohesion in the neighbourhood”. 40% of people say that they have more contact with their neighbours after using Homies. HEMA is offering Homies as an option in combination with HEMA Woonverzekeringen home insurance so that customers are properly insured if something does happen.
Dick Koopman, Director of Homies Alarm, said: “Homies ensures social safety in the neighbourhood with easy-to-use equipment. The alarm is only raised if something is really happening. The smart equipment alerts your pre-registered network.”
Laura Geerlings, Financial Services Director at HEMA: “HEMA wants to make day-to-day life more enjoyable, easier and better. Offering an accessible social alarm fits in very well with this. It’s exactly because of our local nature that we, as HEMA, can use Homies to make neighbourhoods safer and more social. Homies means that HEMA is making a smart alarm system accessible to everyone.”
HEMA Woonverzekeringen home insurance is provided by InShared, an Achmea subsidiary.