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(San Bernardino Sun)   Your house is on fire. You have time to save one thing. What would it be?   ( divider line
    More: Survey, structure fire, San Bernardino, firebreaks, National Fire Protection Association  
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6152 clicks; posted to Main » on 07 Oct 2012 at 6:49 PM (5 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

288 Comments     (+0 »)
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2012-10-07 09:42:41 PM  
my grand piano
2012-10-07 09:44:09 PM  
A surprising amount can survive a fire. The fire was only barely out across the street when the firemen started hauling out baby stuff, photo albums, the homeowners wallet, cel phone and keys (he was in pajamas watching the Seahawks game when the fire started) and even armloads of baby clothes.

Makes me want to back up all our family photos to a cloud service, but little else in this place couldn't be replaced eventually.

We have had to convince my seven year old son that he is not to stop for anything if the house is burning, not even his first teddy bear.
2012-10-07 09:44:27 PM  
Husband or cat depending on which one was having more difficulty in escaping on their own. Things can be replaced. Husband & cat, not so much.
2012-10-07 09:45:54 PM  

NewportBarGuy: You answered that question (I also had the same ?) with so much awesomeness. Thanks for sharing. What an awesome piece and presentation. Cherish that always.

You're very welcome and i absolutely will. It was my grandfathers and when he died it became my fathers and then,when he died,it finally became mine. (Spooky coincidence, my dad was 25 when my grandpa died and i was 25 when my dad died. Fortunately i don't have any kids to kick start my death clock

JesseL: After 96 years and four (going on five) generations in the family it's not going to be lost on my watch.

/assuming kid, wife, and pets are okay of course

You,know i'm not really a gun person but there's just something about a 1911 Colt. I dunno what it is but i just love them.
2012-10-07 09:47:35 PM  

I've been in that position before, when my home caught fire at night because of an electrical short in the wall. I lived alone, so my first priority was go get my ass out, pronto. As it was, I got 2nd and 3rd degree burns on the bottoms of my feet from running across burning carpet. If I'd given any thought to laptops, antiques, valuables, ANYTHING, I wouldn't have made it out myself ;)
2012-10-07 09:48:09 PM  

taurusowner: some silver or gold rounds (might not be able to afford gold but silver is easy)

Where can you pick that kind of stuff up?
2012-10-07 09:49:20 PM  

brantgoose: Number one: the contents of my pockets.

The contents of my pockets.

Since the last fire, I've resolved to work on speed. Seeing the flames roar up one wall and down the other convinced me that the key thing to consider in a house fire is speed, promptness of action, speed and speed.


For a good time, crank the alarm clock to a random setting in the wee hours of the morning. Starting the instant the alarm goes off, you have 120 seconds to exit the building with your stuff. Including the 10-20 seconds you'll spend ripping plugs out of the back of the computer (or the 5-10 seconds you'll spend grabbing the backup drive from the rack). The 15 seconds you spend putting your pants on. The 10 seconds you spend fumbling for your wallet, cellphone, and/or keys. The 2-3 seconds you spend feeling each door between wherever you are and your exit, to make sure that you're not leaving a smoky room for an inferno, and making a go/no-go decision at each point.

For a really good time, do it blindfolded while on your knees. Fark is not your personal erotica site; I'm talking about trying to simulate the effects of trying to exit a house that's rapidly filling with smoke. Get out in 60 seconds, not 120, because you already used up the first 60 seconds of that 120-second limit sleeping while the place filled up with smoke. If you're still in the building when the alarm stops beeping, you're dead! (But congratulations, because this was only a simulation, you get to play again!)

It's an easy game to play if you don't mind spending ten seconds on your front porch in your pyjamas declaring victory. It's a lot harder if you're trying to get out with your paperwork, hardware, and dignity intact.

Time flies when you're having fun.
2012-10-07 09:57:50 PM  
If I can assume that my cat will run out the door like always, and my insurance is able to cover most everything, I'd grab my Xbox.

You laugh, and rightly so, but I've got game saves on there totaling an excess of 1000 hours of my life over the past 6 years. Books, clothes, bedding, furniture... all of that stuff might have sentimental value but is hardly unique.
2012-10-07 09:58:11 PM  

nikku88: [ image 555x658]

2012-10-07 09:59:07 PM  
Fireboxes rule
2012-10-07 10:03:36 PM  

SurelyShirley: Dogs

I thought I should add, that I live in a pine forest. If there's a fire 20 miles away, I start to get focused on evacuation.
Dogs are always first, then important docs (passport, ID, cash etc). Computer is backed up in the cloud, but If I have time to grab it, sure, why not. I don't collect "stuff" so whatever is left in the house is insured and replaceable.
2012-10-07 10:06:10 PM  
Done in one.
2012-10-07 10:07:55 PM  
My horse

lavachequilit.typepad.comView Full Size
2012-10-07 10:11:38 PM  
I am empty without my stuff. I go down with the ship. Maybe cap myself to escape the agony of burning to death.
2012-10-07 10:14:43 PM  

DeArmondVI: My external HD.

Pretty much most of my life's output (including wedding pictures, essays, journals, geneology, various demos for bands I've been in over the years etc.) is on it. Also, every CD or DVD I have ever owned, and a good chunk of my favorite video games too.

/what's this "cloud" thing I keep hearing about?

Buy a second one. They die really, really, really easily. Mirror them.
2012-10-07 10:15:53 PM  
My FARK password
2012-10-07 10:16:41 PM  
I'm really well insured and the only thing I have of a sentimental value are photos, which are already on Dropbox, on my phone, and on my laptop. At least one of those three should survive.

So, yeah, assuming my wife and daughter as safe? I can't think of anything worth even the momentary risk of saving it. Everything else, I'll just cash a big, fat check and buy anew.
2012-10-07 10:21:16 PM  
My sister had a fire at her place a few years back, and a few weeks after the fire she gave me her burned up computer to see if i could salvage her data for her. I was surprised that her hard drive survived as well as it did. The case looked like hell, and the insides were all soot covered. I cleaned off the board on her HD with some contact cleaner, and tried it in a external enclosure. Sure enough, it worked.

So computer cases do offer at least some protection.
2012-10-07 10:21:26 PM  
Either my laptop or the flashdrive which contains a backup of all my documents.

If I had to replace everything else I own, it would decrease my personal net worth by about 6%. Inconvenient, but I would not cry big crocodile tears over it.
2012-10-07 10:24:31 PM  

PC LOAD LETTER: My porn collection. Oh, alright, my wife. Grumble.

Your wife is my porn collection
2012-10-07 10:30:54 PM  
My wife can be woken up / get out on her own. After that: my kitty, then when safely out of the house, I have the computer in another part of the house (although anything really important is stored on a internet drive (AKA cloud)) so i could probably reach in and grab it and rip it loose without much trouble. The rest of the crap (including that computer) is replaceable.
2012-10-07 10:32:44 PM  

Delay: NewportBarGuy: My Real Doll


....My goodness! One of the tops!
2012-10-07 10:33:45 PM  

taurusowner: kiwimoogle84: My "box of important stuff."

Some might argue that isn't one thing, but it's one box. It has my entire life in it. Photo albums, my will, my late husband's death certificate, social security card, insurance policy information, birth certificate, letters from my grandmother, etc.

It's in my closet and if I had just that ONE box, I could start over and rebuild my life.

A decent start. Though if I were you, I would spring for a lockable fireproof safe/box (though you might already have that) and also put a spare drivers license, passport, a decently large amount of cash, some silver or gold rounds (might not be able to afford gold but silver is easy), and maybe a small concealable handgun(if it's legal) in that same box. Memories are what you want to keep, but the box, backup money, and firearm are good ways how to keep them.

Mr. Kiwi has a fire box. I figure that box is safe even if the rest of the building is ash. :) besides, he can grab that.

Who has a spare driver's license though? And I don't have a passport yet. Also, you have to have spare money for gold/silver, which I do not at the moment. Also, if I get in a bad bind, I'm WEARING several thousand dollars of platinum, diamonds and a carat sapphire. I never take it off.

My box is about the size of a regular size file box- there's lots of stuff in it. Paint and my paintbrushes, high school and college diploma, every birthday card I've ever gotten, address books, photos, family videos, my grandmother's cameo pendent...

If the house caught fire, if I could just get the box out to my car in the driveway, I'd be ok. I don't need a gun, I'll effing run you over. But yes, it's a nice thought. I just have things I can't replace EVER and some are sentimental, some vital. I figure I'll grab it all. Plus, quality oil paints and brushes are f'ing EXPENSIVE.
2012-10-07 10:36:16 PM  
Assuming it's just me in the house AND that the cat can get out on his own: our ketubah (and by extension everything else in the fire safe we keep for important documents). Everything else can be relatively easily replaced.
2012-10-07 10:38:30 PM  

Molavian: taurusowner: some silver or gold rounds (might not be able to afford gold but silver is easy)

Where can you pick that kind of stuff up?

That's what I use.
2012-10-07 10:46:05 PM  

JayR30: My kid and dog are ambulatory (nothing says otherwise). I would save my books. Nothing else is important to me. All my pics are backed up online

How few books do you have? You could tell me to distill my library down to the bare essentials and it would still be more than i could carry.
2012-10-07 10:47:14 PM  

Hack Patooey: My ass

I don't get it????
i5.photobucket.comView Full Size
2012-10-07 10:48:17 PM  
The proof of purchase for my automatic Halon system.
2012-10-07 10:48:28 PM  

Publikwerks: wingedkat: Hack Patooey: My ass


and the pets, if they aren't out already.

Dude, insurance will replace the pets. Are you going to file a claim for your porn collection?

How would you even replace that? An insurance agent spending days downloading from Pornhub?
2012-10-07 10:49:20 PM  
The world from war.
2012-10-07 10:51:14 PM  
I actually think about that a lot.

For years, I thought it was my guitar. Now, I think it would be my wallet and my family's passports.
2012-10-07 10:55:28 PM  
A shrubbery. Ni!
2012-10-07 10:55:36 PM  
Ironically my fire safe, with both handguns, $5000 in cash, and all my documents. House deed, car deed, insurance, etc...
2012-10-07 11:29:21 PM  

anotar: The ashtray, the remote control, the paddle game, this magazine and the chair. And I don't need one other thing except my dog.

Well I don't need my dog.

I see what you did there!

///Get away from those cans!
2012-10-07 11:33:39 PM  
Just this ashtray...
2012-10-07 11:34:45 PM  
i have a bugout briefcase. Could be a hurricane flood, fire, who knows. It has like a 1 year old backup of my hard drive (better than nothing) and a bunch of dumb stuff I thought were important like photocopies of my passport. Guitars can be replaced, though I might try to save my 5 string rumblefish, a detroit original.
2012-10-07 11:36:20 PM  
i.imgur.comView Full Size
2012-10-07 11:37:52 PM  
I'd grab my clothes so I'm not bare assed, and on the way out my box of receipts so the insurance company couldn't rip me off. I already have pictures of everything stored at work.
2012-10-07 11:38:15 PM  
A fifth of whiskey to drink away the sorrow of being homeless.
2012-10-07 11:39:40 PM  
jennymacbeth.comView Full Size
2012-10-07 11:40:58 PM  
Kitty cat.
2012-10-07 11:41:16 PM  
Probably my one inch fire hose hooked into the main line between valves right beside the house.
By god I'll be sure to get THAT out if my house is on fire.

Its over by the cut-off for the power, by my helmet.
2012-10-08 12:01:21 AM  
Uh, first of all, wasn't me.

Of course, gotta take a towel. Because I read about it in a book somewhere.
2012-10-08 12:04:13 AM  

cman: Nothing. In fact I probably wouldnt leave the house if it was on fire. I would just sit there until it was over.


Might as well pour that one last really strong rum and coke so that you go FWOOOOM really fast and don't feel a thing.
2012-10-08 12:09:18 AM  

Zarquon's Flat Tire: some_beer_drinker: the wooden toilet roll handle.

Wow. Just wow.

We are assuming it's the modified one, of course.
2012-10-08 12:10:01 AM  
My house.
2012-10-08 12:10:47 AM  

bigpeeler: My house.

Dammit should have read the thread first!
2012-10-08 12:22:38 AM  

DeArmondVI: My external HD.

Pretty much most of my life's output (including wedding pictures, essays, journals, geneology, various demos for bands I've been in over the years etc.) is on it. Also, every CD or DVD I have ever owned, and a good chunk of my favorite video games too.

/what's this "cloud" thing I keep hearing about?

This. Considering every DVD is also on said HD, I'd have room to carry more. So probably the hand made knives my father in law made for us too.
2012-10-08 12:25:32 AM  

Hack Patooey: My ass

Survey complete.
2012-10-08 12:27:13 AM  

TheOther: taurusowner: rev. dave: That is easy, my ammunition for my .44. It could kill someone if a fire ignited it and that would be my ass.

No it can't unless it's inside a firearm at the time. Ammunition needs the confines of a chamber to create the necessary force for the bullet to move and penetrate. The explosion of the powder in a chambered round has nowhere to go except forward, and it pushes the bullet out with the resulting speed and force. However, when a cartridges is ignited when not chambered it has almost no force. In fact, it will be the cartridge that will move while the bullet remains mostly in place since the brass is much lighter. Think of igniting a firecracker in your open palm. You might get a slight burn. But close your hand around the firecracker and you'll lose your fingers. The explosion of powder in a ammunition cartridge without the confines of a chamber is almost entirely harmless. The bullet won't even penetrate your clothes or leave a bruise.

Hmmm...has this been demonstrated on Mythbusters?

Having tossed a fer shotgun shells in the fire in a moment of drunken stupidity, I would agree with this assessment.
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