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.