Smoke is a collection of airborne solid and liquid particulates and gases emitted when a material undergoes combustion or pyrolysis, together with the quantity of air that is entrained or otherwise mixed into the mass. It is commonly an unwanted by-product of fires , but may also be used for pest...
, typically as an indicator of fire. Commercial, industrial, and mass residential devices issue a signal to a fire alarm system
Fire alarm system
An automatic fire alarm system is designed to detect the unwanted presence of fire by monitoring environmental changes associated with combustion. In general, a fire alarm system is classified as either automatically actuated, manually actuated, or both...
, while household detectors, known as smoke alarms, generally issue a local audible and/or visual alarm
An alarm device or system of alarm devices gives an audible or visual alarm signal about a problem or condition.Alarm devices include:* burglar alarms, designed to warn of burglaries; this is often a silent alarm: the police or guards are warned without indication to the burglar, which increases...
from the detector itself.
Smoke detectors are typically housed in a disk-shaped plastic enclosure about 150 millimetres (6 in) in diameter and 25 millimetre (0.984251968503937 in) thick, but the shape can vary by manufacturer or product line.