19 April 2021 Climate

Fires and wood burning stoves – please consider your neighbours

We’re asking people using wood burning stoves or lighting bonfires and fire pits to consider their neighbours and the most vulnerable members of your own household before striking a match.

At a time when we’re now allowed to meet with friends and relatives in our gardens or back yards, more people are using open fires and fire pits to keep warm on chilly days.

But we’re reminding users that they can be a nuisance to others and could have impacts on people’s health.

Bonfires and barbecues

With summer almost upon us, many of us will want to invite friends and family into our gardens and break out the barbecue. Having more time in our gardens and outdoor spaces, we may also want to light a bonfire to dispose of things like garden waste.

Please show consideration to your neighbours and not create excess smoke and odour. It’s also much better to compost garden waste or take it to one of our recycling centres.

When finished with your fire, put it out to avoid smouldering, carbon monoxide and smoke 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.

If you are not in a Smoke Control Area, please try to use fuels that won’t create excessive smoke or odour that may cause a nuisance to neighbours.

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.

Elm logs

We’re also calling on people not to use elm tree logs for their fires and wood burners.

Elm logs are perfect breeding ground for bark beetles that carry and spread elm disease which is devastating the city’s historic elm tree collection.

Think about everyone’s health and safety

While it’s been pleasing to see the number of Covid-19 cases dropping in the city, coronavirus remains a risk to those with respiratory issues.

Many still have concerns that the extra smoke generated by wood burners, log fires and bonfires may be making things worse for people who already have health problems.

If you are planning on having a barbecue or bonfire, please also ensure that you follow the correct safety advice. Below are some links with useful advice and information from East Sussex Fire & Rescue.

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