General chatter - Elderly parents and house fire

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12-11-2006, 07:00 PM
My in-law's house burned down last night. Some lessons:

1. Don't grill under the eaves on the porch.
2. Make sure your computer is backed up externally. If the CD your computer is backed up to is in the desk drawer, it will melt in a fire.
3. Have your credit card numbers stored in a safe, away from the house place.
4. Have a spare, emergency credit card stored in another place.
5. If you have a fire box, put it where you can get to it quickly during an escape. If your essential documents are in there, it might take a long time to dig them out of the rubble.
6. Make sure you are adequately insured. While saving money on the premium makes sense, you need to be able to rebuild.
7. Make sure your contents are adequately covered for replacement value. It will be a lot more than you think it is when you consider that you may need to replace every single thing you own. How much does one place setting cost? Appliances? Antiques? Artwork? Hand towels? It's not just computers and jewelry and electronics you need to consider. It's also, potentially, each little thing you touch every day in your house.
8. If you get to be aged and begin to want to downsize, do it. If you don't use all the stuff you've accumulated over the years, give it away to someone who will enjoy and use it. If all of your family's history is in one location, a fire can be devastating for generations to come.

Suzanne 3FC
12-11-2006, 09:19 PM
How awful! They are ok, right? What a terrible thing to have to experience, I hope they didn't lose everything. You brought up some very interesting points that we could all benefit from.


12-11-2006, 09:28 PM
Kateful, I'm so sorry to hear about the tragic fire. I hope your in-laws are all right.

I wish I could get my parents to downsize. My in-laws did a couple of years ago and they are much better off.

12-11-2006, 09:55 PM
They are well physically. Not sure about psychologically. It's been less than 24 hours. They are staying in a motel and are just now trying to figure out what to do next.

This was just a real eye opener about how you can do a few little things that will make life a little easier if something like this should happen. I know that I am most definitely going to keep these things in mind and develop a plan and practice it.

12-11-2006, 09:57 PM
Very very sorry to hear about that! I hope they all are okay at least! My grandparents had a house fire, they were very fortunate and did not lose everything, but had quite a bit of damage. It is very scary and devestating for sure! Also a good friend of mine lost EVERYTHING. Luckily everybody got out okay, but like you said, psychologically is a very different story. They are now living in an apt and doing okay, waiting for their house to basically be rebuilt. Its very very tough, especially this time of year.

Our insurance agent recommended taking a video camera and taping all of our things so its on record, she says its very very hard to remember every single thing in such a devestating unfortunate event. Now I just need to take the tape to a safe place. We have a fire safe box, but we lost the key! Also they make fire and WATER resistant boxes as well.

Another idea is a safe deposit box, my in-laws put a lot of valuable information and things in theirs. My mom has a fire resistant safe that she keeps all her important things in.


12-11-2006, 10:50 PM
I am glad your family is physically safe!

I am sorry that you and they are going through this hard time... especially around this time of year. I wish you the best, I will keep your family in my thoughts and hope that from hereon the rebuilding of a home goes as smoothly as possible. :hug: