MISSOULA, Mont. -

Smoke detectors may have saved two lives and a newly renovated home near Huson Tuesday. New attic insulation was heated by a wood stove in the kitchen and began to smolder overnight. Nobody could see or smell what was brewing.

At 4 a.m. the smoke detectors went off. The owners raced into the kitchen to see smoke and flames on the ceiling. Immediately, they called 911. The Frenchtown Rural Fire Department responded, limiting damage to only three rooms in the home.

Frenchtown Fire Chief Joe Calnan said it "definitely showed the importance of smoke detectors."

Smoke detectors can be annoying when you're cooking, but this life saving device is simple to take care of. Batteries should be checked once a month and changed once a year.

Alarms make a  high-pitched chirping sound when the battery is low. Interconnecting smoke alarms means that one alarm triggers all alarms in the house and makes certain you hear it.

All smoke alarms should be fully replaced every 10 years. A combination smoke alarm using ionization and photoelectric technology can detect all types of fires, from a raging inferno to smoldering insulation. 

Always follow manufacturer instructions when buying new smoke alarms. It could save your life.