What is the First Gadget You Would Save in a Fire?

I recall a situation in the early ’90s when a wild fire ravaged a plush L.A. neighborhood. One of the most notable memories from that event was the footage from a news reel showing luxury homes ablaze, with one in particular with its wooden roof on fire while a news helicopter circled overhead. That in itself wouldn’t have been surprising, since the entire neighborhood looked the same, except that the film crew, inside of the helicopter, was broadcasting live footage when it spotted a man running back into the burning home. As the crew continued to film, the man came back out of the home holding something in his hands. Now remember that the home that was already ablaze when he re-entered it, and it was completely engulfed in flames.

A few minutes later, the news crew that was covering the scene from a position on the ground caught up with him and asked why he risked his life to re-enter the burning building. The questions basically revolved around what could have been that valuable to him. I know when I watched this on live TV I thought it must have been jewels or cash, or something very valuable. However, as it turned out, the man owned a string of dry cleaners and he had returned to save several cartridge type tapes that contained all of his business and tax records.

As I remembered this event I realized that, like many of you who are reading this, I have a bunch of toys that contain important data and files that I would hate to lose. So I took an inventory of what I consider my prized electronic devices and tried to determine just how important this stuff was and if the loss of this data would impact my life beyond repair.

Smartphone

The first device I thought of was my Android smartphone. To protect the data on this device I use a program called App Backup and Restore, which is available through the Android Market.

This application backs up all of the data and applications you have installed onto your SD card. I don’t stop here, though; I take the backup further and transfer all of the backup files and data from my SD card over to my personal laptop computer. Once this backup is complete, I then transfer this data, along with other important data from my laptop, to the cloud for storage. This way, if my smartphone is destroyed, my data and important information is safely stored in the cloud and can be restored to a new smartphone.

Laptop or Desktop Computer

Next would be my laptop computer. I don’t doubt that all of you are aware of the importance of backups. If not, you are either new to the technological age or stupid. Enough said. However, you may not have thought about storing your files in cloud storage, which is the safest way to protect your important files.

Tablet Computers

Tablet computers are great, and since iTunes keeps track of the Apple apps you have purchased and Amazon takes care of your Kindle, everything is automatically saved on the cloud for you. What’s to lose? If you use Gmail, even your contacts and emails are safely stored for you.

Personal and Residential Photographs

What is the First Gadget You Would Save in a Fire?In an age where digital cameras and cameras on our cellphones are so prolific, why would we not want our precious photographs protected? I know that I still appreciate having actual framed prints of our children and grandchildren and would find their loss devastating if I didn’t have a means of having them reprinted. This is brought home to me every time I see news footage of a house fire with the homeowner sifting through the rubble that is left. When interviewed, I don’t recall anyone saying that they miss their Wii or other toy, but rather that they count their blessings that their family’s lives were spared. When pressed further, they often mention that they wish that they had been able to save their photographs, but that most everything else was replaceable. If that is truly the case, then I would recommend that you take precautions before destruction strikes by having your photographs copied and then storing them in a safe place, such as a bank safety deposit box.

You should also know, along this same vein, that pictures of the interior and exterior of your residence are among the most important files that you need to store offsite. This is important whether you own your residence or rent, because documenting (with photographs) is your best evidence when making a claim to your insurance company. It will need proof that you actually owned a 65″ 1080p HD TV, not to mention the fact that you lost 25 pairs of shoes or a Star Trek collection worth $1000. Then remember, too, things like the dishes, pots and pans, and curtains — all of which we use in our daily living and can be just as expensive as the gadgets and other electronics we treasure so dearly.

My point is this: If you wouldn’t run back into a burning home to save a precious frying pan, why would you go back in to save a gadget? If you were to decide to rush back into a burning home to save a gadget, what would that gadget be?

Comments, as always, are welcome.

Article Written by

I have been writing for LockerGnome since relocating to Missouri seven years ago, where I continue to be a technology enthusiast who enjoys playing with the newest and latest gadgets.

  • [email protected]

    Uh dude, I’ll make sure my “fire extinguisher” gadget is saved first.

  • K My Mc75

    if I didnt procrastanate I would of saved my pics already

  • Paulsub63

    The hard drive with all the data.

  • Sk

    i keep my photographs in a trunk next to my back door. my feeling is that if a fire broke out in the middle of the night, i’d throw it out the door. however…it’s way too heavy to lift…i need to start scanning them and saving them electronically…

  • Pingback: New Video! – Why Everybody Should Do a Full House Tour in Video « Geeky Bits

  • Jack

    I’m deaf.  I text like a rabid teenager though I’m 60+.  I would save my phone (and charger).  I know it can be replaced but until it was I would be incommunicado until I had a new phone filled with my contact list.

  • http://twitter.com/mgilstrap19 Michelle Gilstrap

    You are right, files from our lives and photographs that can be duplicated are the most important.

  • Finld

    The first thing I would save in case of home fire is my Canon 5D Mark II

  • Kenneth Adams

    One could always get a fire safe like the one I got.  It’s rated to withstand fire for up to 1 hour at 1700 degree F, explosion-proof and water resistant.  It’s a four drawer vertical file cabinet.  All important documents and backups of data are stored and protected in addition to offsite copies of the most important stuff.  They’re expensive, but they’re worth every penny.

  • Kenneth Adams

    One could always get a fire safe like the one I got.  It’s rated to withstand fire for up to 1 hour at 1700 degree F, explosion-proof and water resistant.  It’s a four drawer vertical file cabinet.  All important documents and backups of data are stored and protected in addition to offsite copies of the most important stuff.  They’re expensive, but they’re worth every penny.

  • Tom

    All my important documents are scanned. I have a complete copy on my iPhone App Files Pro (Olive Toast), so the phone would be saved!

  • TechMali

    I’d grab my teddy bear, which is actually a white bunny. I can’t sleep without it and it’s the first on my list. Everything else can be replaced easily, even the pictures. Nothing can replace that one security I have.

  • Tom Buchanan

    I had to deal with a fast moving flood last August. The laptop was my number one save because I use it for most of my communication, and my desktop backs up to the laptop. I have a physical hard drive with a backup that I keep in another part of the same house, but the laptop was way more important. Yeah, I know I could backup to the cloud, but no thanks.

    The number two thing I took with me was my wallet, and number three was a bag of clothing to supplement the “go bag” in my car.

  • http://TheFemGeek.com thefemgeek

    I’d be the one who’d grab my iMac, then my messenger bag on the way out the door since it’s right there and my iPhone would be in my pocket.

  • http://twitter.com/getur Gétur Fránsson

    WD My Passport and it’s twin backup. all my offline digital life is in there. encrypted with TrueCrypt, of course. It’s easier save from a fire a pocket-sized HDD than a full size desktop PC.