It has to rank right up there as one of the most frightening things that could happen to you in your home. You wake up to sound of your fire alarm. You smell the smoke. Instinct kicks in.
Discovering your home on fire is a truly terrifying prospect. Once family and pets are out of the property and are safe, and knowing you have your phone and wallet safely in pocket, what would people do next?
According to a new survey by the AA Insurance Consumer Index, 72% of us would try to save something from a burning building in this scenario, with 36% admitting they would risk the flames for their laptop.
33% of respondents said that they would attempt to save photo albums, 19% would dash back for jewellery.
Homeowners in London, the South West and Eastern England would be most likely to rescue a family heirloom from a fire (21%), while more than one in 10 in Wales would save a piece of artwork from a fiery demise (13%).
Collections, paperwork and tech
A fifth of people said that if they had the time, they would save their prized collection. These included; stamps, coins, military medals and vinyl records.
Musical instruments including; guitars, drums, oboes and saxophones would also be saved from fires. Cuddly toys, wedding dresses, train sets and Star Wars figures were also singled out as worthy of saving according to the 18,000 strong panel.
Although more personal possessions were identified, people displayed a strong practical element too. Passports, wills, legal documents, insurance policies and other personal papers would be taken with people heading out of a fire.
Our ever-growing love for technology was seen too, with; cameras, TVs, games consoles and portable hard drives saved from a fire.
Janet Connor, managing director for AA Insurance services says; “We all hope to never be in this situation, but just considering the prospect for a minute makes us think about what we hold important to us.
However, in the heat of the moment our minds can do funny things and make us want to grab something out of the ordinary, like that book we never quite finished. Most items and objects can be replaced by your insurer, but we still hold value in sentimental items like photo albums, or objects handed down to us from our parents, grandparents or further back.
Ultimately, prevention is better than cure, so make sure you regularly test your smoke alarms and check your home to ensure you don’t have any potential fire hazards**.
If there is a fire in your home then our advice is simple – don’t risk it. It is more important to make a quick and safe exit, ensuring all your family and pets are well away from danger and once you are out, stay out.”