What To Take When A Fire Comes

Driving up to smoke seeping out from under the eaves of one’s home is bad. Driving up to flashing lights and smoldering debris is worse. 

Having to experience the aftermath of a home fire is fun for no one. But the chaos can be lessened with proper planning in advance, including knowing how to help prevent fire from happening, how to protect yourself when fire comes, and what to protect or take with you should you be home when the fire starts.

Safety First

We all want the people and pets we love to be safe, should a fire break out in our home. The key to safety is instruction, which is why we should take the time to teach everyone in our homes how to evacuate and work fire extinguishers or other equipment that may prevent a small fire from becoming a raging inferno. This is also a good time to teach first aid techniques.

But even better than instruction is prevention. It is easy to become complacent in our lives and overlook simple hazards in the home. While fire may come from a lightning bolt out of the sky, it can just as easily come from a stray ember igniting poorly secured flammables or dead brush that you have meant to trim back for months. Taking the time to do a hazard hunt at home can save a lot of grief and anguish over lost memories and heirlooms.

Irreplaceable Things

While the priority in the event of a fire is to make sure that people and pets are safe, the next most important items to protect are the irreplaceable things that are important to your life. Birth certificates and car titles can be replaced, but doing so is a pain. Having a fire-proof lock box for critical documents is a vital step in saving yourself a lot of headaches. 

Another list of things to consider is those items that hold sentimental value. Items like family photos, journals, and family keepsakes are something you should want to protect as much as possible. Digitizing important belongings like photos and legal documents in advance of a worst-case scenario will allow you to share those treasured memories and meanings with future generations, even if the originals are consumed in fire.

Regarding larger, more costly items, there isn’t much you can do to encapsulate them within a fire-proof box. However, making sure that you have all items listed in a document, with their key dates and values, can go a long way in making any dealings with your insurance company much smoother than it would be otherwise. With the reduced cost and improved storage capabilities of external hard drives and online storage, having these items stored in multiple locations will make you sleep even more soundly at night knowing that a catastrophic fire will not lose these memories to ash, with only a minimal amount of upfront cost.

Knowing What To Take and Leave

When preparing for the possibility of a fire in their home, so many areas need to be considered that it can be easy to forget something critical. As our lives have become filled with more and more, we tend to overlook things that were once so important to us but become crowded out by the new items that creep their way into our lives.

One of the best things you can do for your sanity is to simplify before fire makes it unavoidable. Know what is important to you now, and protect it at all costs. For example, drawings from your six year-old son as a Christmas gift to you or a letter from your mom before she passed away are items that can never be replaced. But should they be saved? Only you can answer that question. 

Earmarking the things most important to you is a way to itemize your life. And, as with any list that gets too long, when our lives become too full of must-keep knickknacks, our lives get cluttered and confused. It becomes harder to recognize what items are truly important, and what items prevent you from clearing your mind and life for experiences and memories that are truly valuable.

When a fire comes, there may be no time to react with anything other than instinct or drilled responses. Make your life simple in advance by knowing what is worth saving. So that if the fire comes, you will be ready and prepared and have no regrets about the things you take with you.

Photo by Pixabay.

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