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Many parts of the UK have been labelled “smoke control areas”, meaning that particular laws must be followed by anyone actively making use of their chimney. Hefty fines can be given out should these rules be violated (£1,000+), so we think it’s important our clients are aware of them.
First of all, you should check online or by calling your local council to see if you live within a smoke control area – if you don’t, then the below rules won’t apply to you. Presuming you do live in one, we’d urge you to follow this link to see the official list of government-authorised fuels.
In addition to the fuels listed, you can also opt to use “smokeless” fuels in certain models of multi fuel stoves and fireplaces designed to handle them; common examples of smokeless fuels include gas, anthracite, semi-anthracite and low volatile steam coal. Oil and similar liquid fuels are also OK, but again, only if fireplaces have been designed specifically with liquid fuel in mind.
If unsure whether a product you’re considering will handle these aforementioned fuel types, contact us for one-on-one advice. There are some grey areas, such as kindling, where the rules differ from council to council; contact your local authority should you be unable to find them online.
Most fireplaces and stoves are considered exempt appliances, and thus can burn unauthorised fuels, such as generic wood. However, this still relies on the appliance in question being manufactured with that fuel in mind. Other exemptions include outdoor barbeques and fireplaces, chimineas and pizza ovens, unless they feed into a property’s chimney; bonfires are also allowed for, but with a unique set of rules that must be followed (these can easily be found online).
So for the lion’s share of clients burning authorised fuels or wood in our stoves and fireplaces, the above rules shouldn’t really come into play. But they’re worth keeping in mind, to ensure you aren’t caught out having used a prohibited fuel and left with a huge cheque to write!