Fires and wood burning stoves – let’s cut down on smoking

We’re asking residents to consider cutting down on a different type of smoking this winter.

With temperatures beginning to drop, people with fires and wood burning stoves are being asked to consider reducing how much they’re used for the benefit of the city as a whole.

We understand that people who own a working fireplace or wood burner will want to use them during the cold winter months. However, they do have health implications for those both inside and outside the home. 

The smoke they create damages the city’s air quality and can be a nuisance to your neighbours. 

There are also health impacts to consider inside and outside the home:

  • The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates air pollution is responsible for 50,000 premature deaths in the UK and 175 in Brighton & Hove
  • Airborne pollution is the largest environmental risk to public health. 
  • Particularly impacts those with underlying health conditions, deep coughs, Covid, smokers, and those with poor housing and sedentary lifestyles  
  • Burning wood, waste or coal in an indoor fireplace increases the risk of passive smoking to yourself and the people around you. 
  • Wood and coal burning is the biggest source of primary particulate matter across the UK 

Improving air quality across the city

Chair of the council’s Health and Wellbeing Board, councillor Sue Shanks said: “Wood burning stoves are popular, but people will not have realised the health implications for themselves and fellow residents. I would ask everyone to consider the health and wellbeing of people in the city.
“The smoke from these fires harms the quality of our air which impacts on the health of everyone, especially those with respiratory problems. 

“We need to do everything we can to improve the air quality in our city and reduce the number of premature deaths caused by air pollution.”

The city’s Smoke Control Areas

The city has a number of Smoke Control Areas (SCA) declared under the Clean Air Act, covering much of Hanover, Bevendean, Lewes Road and city centre areas. In these areas, residents can only burn approved, smokeless fuels. 

You may be committing an offence if you do not follow this guidance.
Wherever you live in the city please consider clean heating options to avoid gas and smoke that may cause nuisance and poor air quality across your neighbourhood.

If you are considering lighting a fire indoors or out, please read and follow the advice about using solid fuels and smoke on our website.

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