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Open fires and wood burning

Nuisance - wood burning stoves and open fires

What do I need to be aware of under the law?

Local Councils are legally obliged to investigate any complaints made under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 relating to public health and nuisance issues, which include smoke and fumes from fires or stoves.

In cases where our evidence shows that smoke or fumes is causing significant interference with another person’s use and enjoyment of their property we can serve a legal notice on the person(s) responsible for the nuisance, requiring action to be taken to stop the problem or face prosecution for non-compliance. With this in mind it is important to prevent smoke problems to neighbours by proper installation, use of correct fuel and careful operation of the stove.

Carbon Monoxide detectorIncorrectly installed stoves and flues can lead to fires or dangerous gases entering the house potentially leading to carbon monoxide poisoning or death. It is therefore in your own interest as well as your neighbours to ensure the correct installation.

The installation of wood burning or multi-fuel stoves is work that is controlled under the Building Regulations. You should ensure that your fitter is appropriately accredited (contact Building Control for up to date information) or contact Oadby and Wigston Borough Council’s Building Control Section with full details before installing appliances or carrying out work to flues or chimneys

Clean airWood fire

The rise in the use of open fires and wood burning stoves has led to an increase in smoke from chimneys. DEFRA have provided A Practicle guide to Open Fires and wood-burning stoves Open Fires and Wood Burning Stoves Practical Guidance (PDF Document, 218.78 Kb)

The Council operates a smokeless zone area please see the smoke control page for details of the area and list of affected streets. The fine for burning unauthorised fuels and creating smoke in the designated areas breaching the order carries a fine of £1000

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