Forty-two Iowa residents died in house fires last year, but the Iowa Fire Marshal's office says the total could have been much, much higher.
The office credits smoke alarms with saving 217 people in 2012, a 16 percent rise from 2011. It points to a January 2012 case as typical. A Denison couple was sleeping when an adapter in an outlet began to burn at 3 a.m. Smoke detectors woke the couple, giving them time to evacuate and call the fire department.
The number of lives saved by smoke detectors has risen each year since 2010, when the office credits the devices with saving 146 people. In 2011, 186 lives were saved.
“Relying on Lady Luck is not a good fire prevention plan. A smoke alarm does not rely on luck to wake a person during a fire,” said State Fire Marshal Ray Reynolds.