Fire is a good servant but quite a bad master. Your neighbour hardly knows when it cooks your food, but when it burns your house, the whole neighbourhood gathers to put it off. If you have ever watched a burning house diminish to debris within minutes, then you will not hesitate to save something if your house is caught up in flames. In June 2015, Nollywood actress, Kate Henshaw lost all she had ever worked for in her Lekki apartment that got burnt down. In some cases of a burning house, some people would want to grab everything all at once and end up saving none. In such scenarios, it is usually sad when you can only save a few things, but it would be sadder if the things you end up saving are not worth the fire burns you sustained in saving them.
Would you rather save a cheap bracelet given to you by your mother on your sweet sixteen birthday or a thousand dollar gold ring given by your best friend? Different people have different priorities and choices to this regards and would only save things that means a lot and are highly important to them. However, if you had the chance to save just ten things from your burning house what will be on your top ten list? After asking several Nigerians, and gathering insights from their responses, these are the top ten things anyone would think of saving from a burning house.
Save your breath to save your possessions. This might sound a little awkward, but it is important that your life is safe first before you can save anything. At that moment a lot of thoughts will be racing through your mind, and your most frequent thoughts will be about your valuables and how to get them out to safety. First things first, take a deep breath and calm yourself down, this will enable you clear your mind and decide properly what to save and how best to save them without getting burnt in the process.
2. Primary Documents
Your documents are the most important things to save in a fire outbreak, because they are either irreplaceable or very difficult to replace. It took a greater part of your time/resources to acquire some of these documents, you shouldn’t hesitate to save them from extinction. These documents include your degree certificate, birth certificate, key financial data, international passports, processed visa papers, insurance documents, house and car documents, etc. All these stuff should normally be kept in the same place and a safe place, so that in case of this kind of emergency, it is easier to grab and protect.
Jewelries cost a fortune to purchase and would bring back most of your burnt fortunes if saved and later sold. They include gold necklaces, earrings, bracelets, watches, cufflinks and other expensive stuffs made from precious stones. Although real gold would not burn in a small fire, however it is essential that you save as many jewelries as you can.
In this world of modernization and technology, it is most likely difficult to carry out a full day’s activity without tech companions. Gadgets such as your mobile phones, tablets, computer, bank token, and hard drives need to be kept in safety so it won’t be consumed by the devouring fire. Your laptop and hard-drive may contain several jobs and data that if lost might temporarily ruin your life. Not forgetting your favorite gadget – with your phone you can call the attention of the Nigerian Fire Service, and also take pictures of your burning house while you await their uncertain arrival. Taking pictures of your house in such state might be relevant as evidence to your insurance company and also for gaining sympathy from social networks. However, only take snap shots after saving all you can save, not before or during.
5. Photo Albums
Life without a captured memory is void of the past and most times uninteresting. Ten years after a burnt down house episode, you will be hurt the more if you don’t have any wedding pictures to show to your kids, or your baby pictures to remind you of your young life. Save those image memories for the future.
6. Awards and Trophies
These things when burnt can never be replaced, except you have a strong connection/ relationship with the organizations that gave them to you. Even at that, it will be difficult to get each organization to award you a second time for the same achievement. Grab your awards and trophies fast before the fire consumes them!
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7. Car Keys and Wallet
This might not seem important to some people at the time of the incident but will eventually turn out very useful few minutes after the fire is over. You need you car keys to open your car and store up the valuables you have saved so far. Don’t forget to drive the car out of the burning compound into a safe place before continuing with your stuff-saving-exercise. Your wallet will be useful for immediate use of cash to buy detergent to quench the fire or to appreciate passers-by who helped rescue your stuff or for anything else.
8. Favorite Clothes
If you a fashionista with a wardrobe to envy, leaving your statement clothes will not be the wisest decision to make. You would need a few clothing to change from the smoke infested one you are in. Aside that, in severe house fire outbreak, the house will be unlivable for a while till its renovated, so you need clothes to wear while you are putting up at a friend’s or family’s place. Save at least a few outfits so you have something good to wear while meeting with the insurance agent. And if your fire is big enough and you are a celebrity, the media may be outside to talk about your misfortune. Don’t come out shabbily dressed, show them you can always look good even in the midst of a volcano.
After the fire, comes anxiety and high blood pressure. So if you were already on a medication for whatever ailment, do well to grab your tablets and syrup, so you don’t miss a single dose because of some stupid fire. Some are legit prescriptions, others might not be exactly genuine, but all are essential to your mental stability. If you’ve ever needed some little yellow pills it’s now, so keep them close and the green, blue, red, white, orange, and purple ones even closer.
10. A few Books
There are some books in your library that cost you some huge amount to buy, others were sample gifts that either rare to find or no more on sale. You need your knowledge source to be saved cos if you don’t they will increase the spread of the fire faster than you thought. Also, you would need a few books to read for company sake after the fire is gone. Save as much as you can, however, if you are asthmatic, the only thing you need to grab is an inhaler, the next thing is fresh air far away from the burning house – nothing else is worth saving.
Having gone through this article, you will discover that the most valuable things to you after all may not be worth saving in a fire, like your expensive hair collections, perfumes, pets, or even shoes. However, it is always good to prevent fire outbreak and save yourself the stress of rushing into a burning house to get out valuables. Never wait for a fire to start before you apply the above saving tips. Identify ways to keep your valuables safe now so if there’s a fire outbreak, the only thing you will save would be a wine opener – you might just need it to celebrate over a wise safety precaution you took prior to then.
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