I just got done wiring boxes for my hardwired smoke detector system and am about to start installing detectors. When testing in the end, I heard they sell some test aerosol spray which is the officially (I guess) endorsed way of doing it.

Just out of curiosity, I was wondering if there are alternative safe (as to not burn something or the whole house down) and efficient ways of doing it. I had done it before by burning a piece of paper near one but I'm thinking there are better ways.

  • 1
    Yes, there are test sprays available; websearch will find them easily (or your local store may sell them in the same section as the smoke detectors). No, I don't know of a better solution; they're safe, they're standardized, and they don't risk contaminating the detectors.
    – keshlam
    Jul 19, 2014 at 1:42
  • Find your local beekeeper and have him/her drop by with their smoker.
    – Ecnerwal
    Jul 19, 2014 at 16:41

2 Answers 2


The sprays are the official way to do it. I don't really like the chemicals in them, but I do use them.

I've also used a candle, which I snuff out below the detector. This is safer than the paper and produces more reliable smoke.


If u smoke cigarettes, u can use a simple garden hose or a pvc pipe to blow smoke on one end of the line while the other end is just below the detector. It's a safe unofficial inexpensive and reliable way of testing

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