House Fire – Which Valuable Item Would You Save First?
Published: 31 July 2012 By Peter Thompson Leave a Comment
If you were faced with a house fire, which valuable item would you save first – perhaps a treasured heirloom or family photo album? Or would it be a technology gadget, such as your laptop or mobile phone?
A new survey, commissioned by comparison site Gocompare.com, revealed 25% of respondents would choose to first save their laptop or desktop computer from a house fire.
That said, women still consider the family photo album the most precious item with 28% of them choosing to take that first compared to just 14% of men.
The top 5 items Brits would save first in a fire are:
- Laptop or desktop computer
- Family photo album
- Mobile phone
- A treasured family heirloom, painting or picture
- Jewellery box
Other most valuable items to save were perhaps a little more surprising – some would save their TV or games console first. Four people said they’d save their favourite suit or dress.
Even though smoking and the careless disposal of cigarettes attributes to over a third of all house fires resulting in deaths, the research revealed that 10% of Brits sometimes smoke in bed and 6% even admit to having fallen asleep whilst smoking at home.
Mark Greening, head of home insurance at Gocompare.com, said: “Many people would be surprised to see that the family photo album has been relegated to second place in a list of Brits most precious possessions.
“However, we feel this is more likely to be as a result of how people use technology rather than a diminishing of sentimentality.
“Many people now use digital cameras to take photographs and then store them on their computers rather than getting them ‘developed’, so for them the computer has become their photo album.
“It’s heartening to see that however they’re stored, for most Brits their family photos and the memories they invoke are still their most precious possessions.”
“Fortunately very few people ever experience the tragedy of a serious house fire but it is worrying how many people are putting their and others lives at risk by smoking in bed. Fires kill and even minor ones can cause a huge amount of damage from smoke and water.
“Adequate home insurance to replace your personal belongings can reduce the impact of such an occurrence, but prevention is much better than cure and no amount of insurance cover can save a life.
“Photographs, whether in an album or on your computer, can’t be replaced by home insurance if they’re lost or destroyed. Cloud services now mean that your photos can be stored away from your home so that whatever happens to your own hardware you have a virtual back up.
“It’s worth investigating these services if all of your photos are kept on your home computer and you’d have no way of recovering them if you lost it through fire, flood, theft or any other mishap.
“Advice from the Fire Service in the event of a fire is to ‘get out, stay out and call 999′ so whether it’s to retrieve a photo album, a laptop or any other possession, you shouldn’t put your or your family’s lives at risk by taking longer to evacuate your home than necessary or consider going back in.
“Nothing is worth that risk.”
MoneyHighStreet comments: “It’s certainly quite revealing to see this shift in what’s deemed most important to save in the event of a fire. We support the view that for many this shift is down to how precious things, such as photos, are now taken and stored digitally.
“It is vital though that these photos are backed up, whether using a cloud service or another vehicle to ensure you have a copy away from your home.
“For valuable items it is imperative that you consider buying home insurance. Make sure that it is adequate and that you are not at risk from being underinsured.
“For many families currently struggling to save money, risking not having home insurance is a route being taken. This though really can be a case of a short time gain that turns into long term pain. You always think you don’t need insurance, and you don’t until something goes wrong.
“If it does go wrong and you don’t have insurance, it really can become a very expensive business for you to sort out.”