Many areas of the UK are situated within smoke control areas, where emissions are tightly regulated. You could land a considerable fine if you are caught violating the rules.
In these controlled areas, smoke cannot be emitted from your chimney unless you are using an exempt appliance, such as a stove or a burner, or you are using an authorised fuel. If you break the rules, you could be fined up to £1,000.
To find out if your home is situated in a smoke control area, you should contact your local council, who will be able to advise accordingly.
Authorised Fuels for Smoke Control Areas
Unless your appliance is exempt, a full list of all authorised fuel options can be found at https://smokecontrol.defra.gov.uk/fuels.php. This list has been compiled by the government and approved by the Secretary of State.
Additionally, the following smokeless fuels are also permitted: gas, anthracite, semi-anthracite, and low volatile steam coal.
If you have a specially adapted fireplace, you can also use oil or liquid fuels; in some areas, kindling is also permitted. Just make sure to obtain clarification from your local council before burning.
Unauthorised fuels, like wood, are only permitted for use in exempt appliances. This includes some stoves, cookers and boilers, but it is essential to ensure that you only burn the fuels that the manufacturer of your appliance advises in the accompanying manual.
If you are looking to invest in a wood burning stove Northern Ireland manufacturers and retailers such as http://www.stovebay.com/ have a variety of models that are exempt from smoke control area rules and regulations. Your retailer should be able to answer every question you might have, so don’t rush into purchasing an appliance until you are sure you are equipped with all the relevant information.
Outdoor pizza ovens, fireplaces, barbecues and chimineas are also authorised appliances, but if they are placed in a building – such as a summerhouse – and release smoke via a chimney, you must only use authorised fuels.
You can also have a bonfire in your garden, but you must take care to follow the bonfire rules as set out by the government, which specify that you cannot burn anything that will harm health, pose a danger to traffic, or pollute the surrounding environment.