What would you save from a burning house?

Katherine - posted on 05/18/2011 ( 81 moms have responded )

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If your house was burning, what would you take with you? It’s a conflict between what’s practical, valuable and sentimental. What you would take reflects your interests, background and priorities. Think of it as an interview condensed into one question.

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Jaime - posted on 05/18/2011

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I do think it's a great idea to have all of the important papers in one easily-accessible spot so that if you're able to grab them, you can...but with your survival instincts in full swing and your adrenaline pumping so fast you feel like your heart will explode, you really only have time to think about what is THE most important.

Jaime - posted on 05/18/2011

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Apart from my son and any other family members, I wouldn't take anything. I have been through a house fire once before and I can tell you that regardless of how much time you think you have to collect things, you're definitely not thinking about any of it in that moment.

[deleted account]

My family would be my #1 priority of course, but assuming they are safe I would get the little girls' blankets. They are hand knitted blankets that were given to my daughters when they were first born and the girls can't sleep without them. Of course, if the girls were out safe they would most likely already have their blankies attached, so I probably wouldn't have to worry about it... lol



Other than the blankies, I have all our important documents (SS cards, birth certifiactes, marriage certificate, etc.) in my laptop bag under my bed. In there I also keep my camera (when I'm not using it), all my chords (chargers, etc.), my external hardrive (with ALL my pictures on it) and sometimes my laptop even goes in there - lol. I like to keep it close by my bed so that if there is a fire it's not an extra place I have to go to get it. I can just reach under the bed and grab all that stuff while running out of the room to grab the kids.



My hubby and I have actually made a plan about what we would do in the event of a house fire. We would both get out of bed and hubby would get our two oldest while I grab the laptop case and our youngest. Then we could either leave through the front door, the garage or any of the bedroom windows (depedning on where the fire is).

♏*PHOENIX*♏ - posted on 05/18/2011

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Yep Jamie thats what i thought as well..never been in one, but as i sat here thinking, i realized that often when it comes down to it...your going to be shocked, scared and thinking of only family...now depending on where the fire starts and how fast it is spreading you MIGHT be able to get a few things...if you think in advance of what you would save..

Jenni - posted on 05/18/2011

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Ok... maybe I might take my laptop or external hard drive. But they're not vital because between my husband and myself we have all the important videos and photos catalogued on facebook. We have backups everywhere! On our parents computers, on facebook, on our external, on our desktop, on our laptop, in albums... one source is bound to survive despite any disaster. We've taken all precautions to be insured with our photos.



Our renter's insurance would cover nearly everything of monetary value.

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**Jackie** - posted on 05/22/2012

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My daughter...and if I had enough time, my husband lol. He's a fire fighter so I'd imagine he'd be okay. I have sentimental attachments to (off the top of my head) about 15 things that I know I'd be heart broken about losing. They can't be replaced but I wouldn't risk my daughter's life.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 05/22/2012

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Only my kids and my dog, well my husband too. hehehee

Nothing else is all that important to me. I have ALL my pics on FB, so I could get them from there. Although, I do have "old" pics that I haven't transferred to electronic but, oh well, I'd rather save my family and dog. A house burns fast, there is no time to be looking for anything. We also have escape plans. ;)

Jodi - posted on 05/21/2012

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I keep all of our pictures and videos on an external hard-drive. Unplugg one cord and i'm ready to go. That would be the most important to me., after my family is out of course. If I had my mind about me, I might try to find the file folder that has important documents in it (ss cards, birth certificates, insurance stuff etc etc).

Jurnee - posted on 05/21/2012

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my kids, and my pets. I have already lost everything I owned once, and I came to realize that they were not so important. Yes pictures and things like that are sentimental, but not worth risking any ones lives for.

Julie - posted on 05/26/2011

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Once all my children were safely out I would try to get all my scrapbooks and photos out. Everything else is replaceable except for children and memories. However I have so many, I would hope that the fire is small and that the firefighters get there fast and put it out quickly or I'd be in trouble.

Hope - posted on 05/25/2011

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I guess I would save the most obvious: people, pets and purse if its nearby.

[deleted account]

Assuming my kids are on their way out the door and I have a spare hand or two.... my purse, phone, and one of my file folders that has the birth certificates, ss cards, and some cash in it. All those things are on/in my desk that is by the front door. Getting the computer hard drive would be nice, but I doubt I'd be focused enough to get it all unplugged.

Nikkole - posted on 05/21/2011

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Well of course my family would be first, then i would grab my HUGE purse and put my jewelry box in it (which contains my jewelry of course, ss cards,insurance cards, and birth certificates then i would grab my photo album and lock box, which has my wedding video, title to the car and boat, and our marriage license! For some odd reason i keep ALL these things on a shelf in my room i think im preparing for a disaster and just keeping everything in ONE area so i can grab and go!

Charlie - posted on 05/21/2011

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family and pets of course .

Handbag ( containing phone , wallet , cards ) My Dads box of his things I treasure , photos , Coopers turtle and my billy bear .

Lora - posted on 05/21/2011

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I would my sure my kids were headed out and each one of my kids had one of my cats. Then on my way out I would grab my daughter's urn. She was a month old when she passed away. Along with her urn I would get my purse and my labtop computer, and Manny (my blind cat).

Frances - posted on 05/21/2011

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I would take my purse and bank books. I would get all our prescription medicines. I would also try to get some pictures. I can replace most of our books from ebay and I can always buy another Bible.

Alexis - posted on 05/20/2011

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My son, then maybe my purse\debt card & ID if possible. Pretty much everything is replaceable and my mother in-law has a copy of most of the pics.

Chasity - posted on 05/20/2011

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my kids..each one of there baby books and the computer it has every picture and video ever made. My husband would be out of luck ...................J/K

Danielle - posted on 05/20/2011

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Family first but for the sake of debate:

All of our MOST important doc (ML, BC's, SSC's, and even the title to our cars and house) are in a saftey deposit box. I would grab my purse/keys and (unless he got it) my husbands wallet/keys. Guess I need to back up all our pix someplace cuz those are very important to me, but at the time I KNOW I wouldn't care :P Maybe my Mother's Bible cuz she passed away...

If my kiddos can't hold on to their most prized toy, I'm sorry. It's replaceable, they are not.



Hmm maybe I should get one of those fire and water proof boxes for the home DVD's and professional pic CD's and the kids baby books...



All our pets except the fish are outside, and I can't exactly save our fish cuz they are in a 65gal tank-sorry fishies! lol

Vegemite - posted on 05/20/2011

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hello I'm back I can post yay
After the kids, husband and pets. Photos, my kids cuddle toys, my cuddle toy and my dad's beetle record collection and wedding ring. That's all. Just the sentimental stuff.

Mary Renee - posted on 05/20/2011

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baby, diaries, laptop? I know the laptop thing sounds messed up but it has all my daughter's home movies and baby photos on it.

Jessica - posted on 05/19/2011

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1. my kids
2. husband
3. all the photo albums of the kids over the years :)
THATS IT!

[deleted account]

Children and husband first and foremost and of course the dogs. If I think of it I will grab the car keys and my purse on my way out the door. Going to need that credit card to stay in a hotel that night and to pay for other necessities until homeowners ins. kicks in. Screw everything else. Human and pet lives are what is most important.

Tyrae - posted on 05/19/2011

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I would grab my daughter, her cloth diapers and as much of her clothes as I could fit into her laundry hamper. My fiance can get himself out of the house LOL

K. - posted on 05/19/2011

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My oldest daughter's blankie is a must, and my youngest daughter's stuffed cow. My neighbor's old house burned down a couple years ago and she lost ALL of the pictures of her kids. So I made copies of every single photo CD in this house, labeled them and all that good stuff and sent them to my mom. So if God forbid something like that was to happen, I'd still have all my pictures.

Joanna - posted on 05/19/2011

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My external Harddrive (pictures), wedding ring and my grandmothers wedding ring, and my emergency suitcase- I have a small bag with my earthquake kit and extra undies and a change of clothes for everyone, plus diapers and baby food (I switch out sizes, etc, every 2-3 months).

Jessica - posted on 05/19/2011

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my daughter, my teddy bear (yes I really said my teddy bear), pictures (I have them all in 2 boxes for easy access in case of a fire), and her baby book. everything else I can live without.

Jane - posted on 05/19/2011

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kids, animals, purse, cell phone. all important papers are in the bank. everything else is replaceable.

Sherri - posted on 05/19/2011

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Family and pets first off and if they were safe and I had two minutes then My kids lovies, pocketbook has almost everything I need (license, SS cards, medical cards, checkbook, car insurance cards etc.) car keys. Everything else is just things and can be replaced.

Johnny - posted on 05/19/2011

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As long as my family & cats were out, only things of sentimental value. My photo albums, my daughter's memory box, and my memory box. Everything else can be replaced with insurance.

JuLeah - posted on 05/19/2011

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Hummm... well, I make an assumption that my child, cat, and tortoise have made it to safety. Photos and important documents would be my first grab. My child's memory box would be my second. My cell phone / wallet / car keys will be in my pocket, so I'll not worry about that stuff. My Smokey the Bear I got when I was three .... if the flames were closing in, I'd leave the rest.

Lacye - posted on 05/19/2011

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My husband has talked to me about this. He said after we get our daughter out, one of us needs to run back in and grab our saved up money(which is kept in a fire proof safe!), the playstation 3, the Wii, and now my laptop. LOL! Personally, the PS3 and the Wii can probably burn for all I care. I would grab the money and my laptop.

[deleted account]

I'll leave that to the man who left the instructions lying around thinking he was so smart that he wouldn't need them!

Katherine - posted on 05/19/2011

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That sucks Cathy! But you can go online and get the instructions with the serial number I bet.

Krista - posted on 05/19/2011

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We have a fire safe as well for important documents, but we also have copies of all of those documents in a safety deposit box at our bank, and another set of copies in a filing cabinet at my in-laws' house. So that's all taken care of. :)

The external hard drive would be more for my husband's business files. I have a metric ton of photos on my facebook and also on Flickr, so I'm not too worried there. Plus, I have everything on our computer backed up on Norton 360, so I could probably retrieve it remotely if needs be.

[deleted account]

Kelly - we brought a small fire safe .... but before we could use it the dog ate the instructions on how to set it. So we have a locked fire safe with nothing in it and no idea how to get it open!

Stifler's - posted on 05/18/2011

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My kids. My husband. My phone to call 000. Everything else can burn, I probably wouldn't think of it at the time. My handbag probably and our emergency plastic packet of info (birth certs, marriage cert, digital copies of all our photos).

Kate CP - posted on 05/18/2011

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Kids and animals (including any cremains). Husband would have to help me with everything so he'd automatically be out of danger, too.

[deleted account]

Haha, I have an emergency bag too, Kaleigh! I keep mine in the car for some reason, it's not like I could get to it, but I guess I figure I'll flee in my car :P I dunno, it's more of a security thing than actually utilitarian.

I'm really surprised how few of you utilize fire safes for all the important stuff, documents, and such you don't want to loose.... They are so practical, and provide a great deal of peace of mind in the event your house burns or is broken into.

[deleted account]

kids, hubby, (if we did have a pet then the pet), emergency bag, in that order. And yes I'm the paranoid nut that has an emergency pack lol I've always kept one since I was a little kid I have anxiety issues what can I say. It's got ID, toiletries, and first aide. Sometimes I've even got clothes, water and dry food in there, sometimes flashlight and batteries, just depends on when the last time I re-packed it but I like to have it prepared just in case. I've only ever needed it 4 times in my life but those 4 times I was sure glad I had it!

[deleted account]

When my friends sister died.They could not understand why she ran back in.Only when things calmed down and they could think.It was not for any material items or animal etc.As the fire department first thought.It turned out to be more heartwrenching as,

Her dad got out one side of the house, she another.She ran back in as she thought her dad was still inside.



My friend wasn't home at the time nor there two children thankfully.The two sisters had a son each.

Its an awful thing to have happen.So unexpected, its devastating.:-(

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/18/2011

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Yeah, the laptop too. That has all the pictures on it....but definately the albums that have pictures that never made it to the computer. My husband and I have been thinking about downloading all of our pictures onto cd's and getting a safe deposit box for them and all of our irreplaceable items.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/18/2011

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I would save my family first, animals, and pictures...plus whatever else I could get my mitts on.

[deleted account]

I was responding as to Katherine's original question.

Practical wins out for me every-time over value or sentimentality. Nothing matters more than my family or my life so I would grab what was practical. If I could grab my handbag on the way out of the front door I would but if downstairs was up in flames I'd make no attempt to retrieve it, we'd be going out the bathroom window. Yes I have the escape routes planned!

The quicker the living are out of the house then the quicker the firemen can get straight to putting out the fire rather than trying to rescue the person who got trapped trying to save the family jewels.

Doesn't mean I'm happy about my eldest son's baby album going up in the blaze but it pales in comparison to saving his life.

Lady Heather - posted on 05/18/2011

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Well obviously I wouldn't die to save a material item. But that doesn't make it totally insignificant.

[deleted account]

I took this as a bit of fun if you had all the time in the world but your home would be burned down what would you save rather than what would you try and take out in an emergency situation. Obviously in an emergency I would save my children and nothing else because THEY are the only thing I need (obvously my hubby is capable of saving himself) but ideally the things I said earlier would be saved if I didn't have to worry about the emergency aspect :-)

[deleted account]

We actually showed our oldest houw to open her window and pop the screen out. She also has her toy box right under the wondow, so she could then climb on it and get out. Our 3 year-old sleeps in the same room (it's our oldest daughter's room, but it has the bunk beds, so the 8 year-old sleeps on the top bunk and her little sister sleeps on the bottom) and I know our oldest would help get her out of the house in case of a fire. Our plan is to have hubby get in there to help them anyway. I would be getting the baby (well, she's 2, but she's my baby! lol) because I wouldn't be strong enought to hold the 2 oldest if I had to. We've practiced our plan in different ways (exiting through the windows, exiting through the garage, exiting through the front door, etc.) and our meet spot is across the street.

When I was a kid our bathroom fan caught on fire and almost caught the rest of the bathroom on fire (luckily the fan was right above the toilet and the toilet seat was up - the ONLY time my mom was grateful to my brother for that... lol). It could have been a lot worse (we lost the shower curtain and my blankie got singed on one side because it was on the floor in the bathroom... I still don't know why it was in there though... hmmm). Ever since that day, my family has always had a fire escape plan AND practiced it at least twice a year and I've kept up the tradition with my family :)

Merry - posted on 05/18/2011

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My pictures of my mom, my son, etc.
Pictures.
They are irreplaceable

Of course all living people and animals first, but after that, pictures.

[deleted account]

I'll be honest... if it got reported that someone died in a house fire trying to rescue a piano, I'd have zero sympathy. My gut reaction would be "what an idiot"!
That goes for any material possessions but just the logistics of removing a piano from a house that is burning down around you seems worse than grabbing the photo album.

A house fire is devastating for anyone regardless of what's lost. If you don't get out with your life and loved ones then the material stuff isn't going to seem important.

September - posted on 05/18/2011

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My son, husband and myself....maybe our safe if I had time but my family would be first on the list.

Lady Heather - posted on 05/18/2011

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While I do agree that obviously lives are the thing you would really go for (duh), I don't necessarily think that everything else is insignificant. I don't tend to get very attached to my objects, but dude - Freja is the 6th generation of my family to play my piano. While losing a living person is clearly the worst thing that can happen, losing my piano would feel like losing my Grandpa all over again. It would be absolutely devastating. It's not like insurance can just pay for a new one. It's probably worth about $500 anyways in monetary value.

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