We understand, at this time of year, residents with open fireplaces and wood burning stoves will be keen to use them, especially at a time when energy bills have soared. But they risk creating smoke which damages the city’s air quality and can annoy neighbours.
We want to reduce use if possible, practical and affordable.
If you do choose to use your fires and wood burners, then please do so safely and in a way that minimises the smoke they can produce.
The Ready to Burn website has lots of useful information for finding the cleanest fuels for burning at home. Using fuels that are approved and labelled as ‘Ready to Burn’ also means it’s easy to comply with Air Quality Regulations that outlaw the sale of wet wood and house coal, which are the most polluting fuels.
Smoke Control Areas in Brighton & Hove
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.
Staying safe at home
East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service have useful advice for safely heating your home.
If you or someone you know would like some extra support in making their home safer from fire, please get in touch with East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service.
Or you can opt for an online check you can do yourself.
Citizens Advice keeping warm and fire advice information.
Jo Carden, CEO of Citizens Advice Brighton & Hove said: "We understand that people might consider using wood burners or fireplaces for the first time this winter in desperation, but this is very dangerous unless they have been serviced and checked that they are fit for purpose otherwise there is a big risk of a house fire or Carbon Monoxide poisoning."
Health and environmental impacts of smoke
The World Health Organisation estimates air pollution is responsible for 50,000 premature deaths in the UK and that airborne pollution is the largest environmental risk to public health.
Poor air quality also impacts those with underlying health conditions and increases the risk of passive smoking to yourself and the people around you.
Councillor Amy Heley, Co-Chair of the Environment, Transport and Sustainability committee said: “We do understand the appeal of having a fire or wood burning stove, but many may not realise the implications they have on the people around, especially in a city where people live close together.
"Smoke can affect neighbouring living rooms and bedrooms, while burning solid fuels can cause serious pollution both inside and outside the home.
“Poor air quality is responsible for thousands of premature deaths. I’m asking all residents to really think about burning solid fuels this winter for the benefit of everyone in our compact city."