There is an increasing concern amongst air quality and health experts about the impact that wood-burning stoves and open fireplaces can have on indoor and outdoor air pollution and your health especially if not used correctly, for example by burning the incorrect fuel – such as painted or treated wood waste – or using damp/wet wood that has not been properly dried. It is estimated that burning wood and coal in open fires and stoves makes up 38% of the UK’s primary emissions of PM2.5 – Clean Air Strategy. As a result, the Government has started introducing new controls with restrictions on the sale of polluting fuels, with additional measures planned.

People with log burners and open fires can still use them but will be required to buy cleaner alternative fuels – if they are not already – such as dry wood and manufactured solid fuels which produce less smoke. These cleaner options are just as easy to source and more efficient to burn, making them more cost effective. Burning dry wood also produces more heat and less soot than wet wood and can reduce emissions by up to 50%.

To prevent the likelihood of smoke related complaints it is recommended that exempted appliances are installed and all smokeless fuel to be used where possible. Further information including a list of exempt appliances and authorised fuels are available at: Smoke Control Areas – Defra.

Further guidance can be found at

Open fires and wood-burning stoves - a practical guide

Burnright website

Complaining about a wood burning stove or open fire:

If you are being affected by the use of a wood burning stove, first consider approaching the business or neighbour to advise them of the problem. They may not be aware that it is affecting you.

If after talking to them, you are still being affected by the use of the wood burning stove, you can report the issue to the Council.

You will need to provide the following information;

  • Your contact details.
  • The details of the premises with the wood burning stove
  • How it is affecting you
  • Photos of the smoke plume if appropriate