5 Safety and Security Items We've Purchased for Our House
a smart lock on a front door and a carbon monoxide detector

Lessons From a First-Time Home Buyer: 5 Safety and Security Items We’ve Purchased for Our House

When you’re a renter, there’s a certain level of safety and security that your landlord is required to provide. So, when you become a homeowner, suddenly you’re solely responsible for these important aspects of your life. And, of course, this also likely means spending more money to protect yourself.

In our case, since moving in last year, we’ve made at least a few purchases related to keeping ourselves and our property safe. Let’s take a look at five such examples.

Smart lock

As I mentioned in a previous post, one of the very first things we did after closing on our house was change the locks. Along with the regular locks we replaced, we opted to install a smart lock (specifically the Yale Assure Lock 2 Touch) on our front door. While this was a bit pricey at about $250, I think it’s been a good upgrade overall.

One of the reasons I was attracted to a smart lock is because it all but eliminates the need to leave a backup key outside — which is a plan that clearly has its flaws. Instead, using the app, I can create one-off codes for guests, dog walkers, or our neighbors. Meanwhile, I’ll admit that I also love the ease of just using my fingerprint to lock or unlock my door. That said, we did purposely select a lock model that does still have a key option just in case.

Carbon monoxide detector

Our newest home safety purchase was a pair of carbon monoxide detectors. These were items that were recommended to us by the county inspector when they were out to look at another purchase installation we’ll talk about in a moment or two. Anyway, before they even mentioned that, I had been wondering whether or not these detectors were something we should get — so this endorsement inspired me to get on it.

Walking through Lowe’s, there were plenty of different options. In the end, we landed on a two-pack of a plug-in model. The two detectors cost us a total of $55.

Based on the recommendation of the inspector, we placed one detector each on the top two levels of our house (skipping the basement). While we could probably add more, for now, I think we’re pretty well covered. And, honestly, I’m already feeling a greater peace of mind as a result of this relatively small purchase.

Fire extinguisher

Going somewhat hand-in-hand with the previous purchase, we also happened to pick up a fire extinguisher. Funny enough, this was an impulse buy as we happened to spot it while shopping in Aldi of all places. In fact, we used a $5 off coupon sent to us as new homeowners in the area to buy the device.

Once again, while having one small fire extinguisher is a good start, we could probably stand to stash a couple of others around our home. Of course, we decided to put this one in the place where it seems most likely to be needed: the kitchen. Hopefully we don’t end up using it — but, on that note, we’ll also need to pay attention to the expiration and be ready to replace it.

Wifi-equipped garage door opener

Similar to the smart lock, there’s something awesome about being able to control my garage door from my smartphone. Even better, in the inevitable scenario that I drive down the road only to wonder whether I actually remembered to hit the close door button, I can confirm the status and still close it if needed. Those functions are thanks to my garage door opener being equipped with WiFi capabilities.

Truth be told, this wasn’t even actually a purchase. Instead, once we moved in, it was just a matter of figuring out how to erase the previous data and link our account to the opener. I regret to tell you that this wasn’t as easy as it should have been, leading me to climb up and down a ladder and tap various buttons over and over again. Thankfully, I eventually found a Reddit post that laid out the process much more clearly than the manufacturer’s own website and I was finally able to get it going. Even though time is money… I think this one was still worth it.

Updated water heater

Finally, we come to a purchase that’s not directly related to safety or security, but I’m counting it anyway. As I shared a couple of weeks ago, we recently had to make our first major repair purchase as homeowners due to our water heater leaking.

Again, this might not have been a true safety threat, but there are plenty of good reasons why it was important to replace it right away. Beyond the mess and waste, the continuous leaking could theoretically have led to greater disaster should the water weaken the floor it’s placed (which is above our basement). For what it’s worth, the connections on our previous water heater may also not have been up to code as our house inspection noted that the wrong type of piping was used in at least one part. Also, it was after this water heater was installed that the county inspector let us know about getting carbon monoxide detectors — so it all comes full circle.

All things considered, we haven’t had to spend a ton to invest in our security so far. That said, as we continue to get settled, I’m sure this will be a priority as we look to make improvements. In the meantime, though, we’re definitely feeling happy, safe, and secure in our new home.


Kyle Burbank

Head Writer ~ Fioney
Kyle is the head writer for Fioney. He is a personal finance nerd, constantly looking for new apps and services to test and incorporate into his own financial game plan. In addition to his role at Fioney, he's written for other publications including Born2Invest, Lifehack, and Laughing Place, as well as his own site Money@30. He also creates personal finance and travel-related videos for Fioney's YouTube channel, which has garnered more than 2 million views. Currently, Kyle resides in Springfield, Missouri with his wife of 10 years. Together, they enjoy traveling (including visiting Disney Parks around the world), dining, and playing with their dog Rigby.

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