That simple statement is very true. It is a fact that most victims who die in a fire could have lived if they only had a working smoke detector. There is a common misconception that it is the flames that will kill you. In reality, most victims in a fire are overcome and asphyxiated by thick, toxic smoke long before the flames ever reach them.
The key to surviving a fire is having an early warning system and a pre-planned escape route that you have practiced until you can do it blindfolded.
A working smoke detector properly located in your home will give you the time you need to escape to safety. Experts strongly recommend that you place at least one smoke detector on each level of your home. More are better, of course, and the most important place to have one is in the hallway nearest your bedrooms. When you are asleep is when you are most vulnerable to fire and deadly smoke. The heavy concentration of carbon monoxide and other poisons within the smoke will deaden your senses and put you into a deeper sleep followed by death. A working detector will sense this smoke in its earliest stages and alert you to the danger, allowing you those precious moments you'll need to make your escape.
Remember to change the battery in your smoke detector every 6 months and to vacuum it occasionally to remove dust from the sensors. A good rule of thumb to follow is to change the battery each Spring and Fall when you change your clocks to Daylight Savings Time.
Please, test your smoke detector at least once a month to ensure that it is working. For the sake of your family and your peace of mind, why not test it right now?