The laptop beats family photo album as most precious possession
New research has found that a quarter of Brits would save their computer from a house fire before any other possessions, including the family photo album.
The survey also found that 1 in 10 (10%) of Brits risk starting a house fire by smoking in bed.
The new survey, commissioned by comparison site Gocompare.com, asked over 1,800 householders which of their possessions they would choose to rescue first in a fire and 25 per cent of respondents said they'd save their laptop or desktop computer.
However, despite being in second place overall, women still consider the family photo album the most precious item with 28 per cent of them choosing to take that first compared to just 14 per cent of men.
The top 5 items Brits would save first in a fire are...
1. Laptop or desktop computer (25%)
2. Family photo album (21%)
3. Mobile phone (14%)
4. A treasured family heirloom, painting or picture (7%)
5. Jewellery box (5%)
The list of items Brits deemed most precious included some surprising selections. 28 respondents said they would save their TV first whilst nine would take their games console. Four people said they'd save their favourite suit or dress.
The research revealed that 1 in 10 Brits sometimes smoke in bed and six per cent admitted to having fallen asleep whilst smoking at home. Smoking and the careless disposal of cigarettes attributes to over a third (36%) of all house fires resulting in deaths.
Mark Greening, head of home insurance at Gocompare.com, said: "Many people would be surprised to see that the family photo album has been relegated to second place in a list of Brits most precious possessions. However, we feel this is more likely to be as a result of how people use technology rather than a diminishing of sentimentality. Many people now use digital cameras to take photographs and then store them on their computers rather than getting them ‘developed', so for them the computer has become their photo album. It's heartening to see that however they're stored, for most Brits their family photos and the memories they invoke are still their most precious possessions."
"Fortunately very few people ever experience the tragedy of a serious house fire but it is worrying how many people are putting their and others lives at risk by smoking in bed. Fires kill and even minor ones can cause a huge amount of damage from smoke and water. Adequate home insurance to replace your personal belongings can reduce the impact of such an occurrence, but prevention is much better than cure and no amount of insurance cover can save a life.
"Photographs, whether in an album or on your computer, can't be replaced by home insurance if they're lost or destroyed. Cloud services now mean that your photos can be stored away from your home so that whatever happens to your own hardware you have a virtual back up. It's worth investigating these services if all of your photos are kept on your home computer and you'd have no way of recovering them if you lost it through fire, flood, theft or any other mishap.
"Advice from the Fire Service in the event of a fire is to ‘get out, stay out and call 999' so whether it's to retrieve a photo album, a laptop or any other possession, you shouldn't put your or your family's lives at risk by taking longer to evacuate your home than necessary or consider going back in. Nothing is worth that risk."