Functional smoke alarms increase the chances of saving lives and preserving property in the case of fire.

According to Orem's Department of Public Safety, statistics indicate that fire will strike a family once every generation.In Utah during 1990, 18 people were killed in home fires, which resulted in more than $30 million in damage. An early warning device, like a smoke detector, can decrease that risk.

People are 2.5 times more likely to survive a fire if they are asleep if they have a smoke detector.

Even so, according to the department, only a little more than 60 percent of households in the United States have a detector, many of which don't work because they have been put up and forgotten.

According to the National Fire Protection Agency, smoke alarms are the preferred device over heat detectors. The Orem Fire Prevention Bureau has free smoke detectors for the handicapped, senior citizens and low-income households. For information, call 244-7021