No doubt the title to this blog entry has piqued your curiosity. What you're about to read is offered based upon experience. I highly recommend that you take this advice to heart, as it could potentially save your life. Unless you're a trained professional, don't try this at home. (I am not trained, nor am I a professional; the fact that I did this anyway should serve not as inspiration, but as a warning for you not to follow in my footsteps.) For your convenience, I have broken these instructions down into a series of steps.

How to test if your smoke detector is working properly

  1. Buy cheap, really greasy breaded fish* from the store.
  2. Preheat oven and place fish inside when ready.
  3. When smell of smoke meets nostrils (note: this probably happens about when smoke starts getting into eyes, causing them to burn), proceed to open window to help vent area.**
  4. Realize that window is not enough, so open door.
  5. Try frantically to grab smoke with bare hands and push it out the door.***
  6. Allow reality to sink in.
  7. Slowly stop crazed activity, and prepare to hear loud fucking beeps.
  8. Jump in surprise when smoke detector starts its siren song.
  9. Climb on chair to stop beeping smoke detector.
  10. Open oven, get blasted by smoke, and pull fish out, deciding that fish is, in all likelihood, done cooking.****

*These steps were written precisely, and only after first researching this method (albeit unintentionally). Chances are that a variety of other fantastically greasy foods would suffice.

**Opening a window before actually starting to cook will decrease the likelihood that the smoke detector will go off, thereby completely missing the point.

***Smoke, being of a gaseous nature, cannot be grabbed. It slips through the hands, thus making the grabbing of smoke a bitterly frustrating endeavor.

****This incredible procedure was devised after my recent Saturday night cooking escapade, which involved both cooking fish and setting off the smoke detector as a result. And yes, the fish was indeed done cooking, and to top it off, with the addition of tartar sauce, the fish wasn't half bad.