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Latest News  >  Is your fire smokeless?

You may be considering opening up an old fireplace or installing a wood burning stove. This might be because you are conscious of global warming and want to use a renewable energy source, because of the cost of gas and electricity or simply because you like the idea of a real fire.

However, before you do take such a step, you should firstly consider whether your property lies within a Smoke Control Area. These areas were made in the 60's, 70's and 80's to address very poor air quality which was caused mainly by people burning coal to heat their homes. For example, approximately 60% of the Wigan Borough is designated as a Smoke Control Area. Although air quality in Greater Manchester has improved greatly since this time, the maintenance of these areas is still important in minimising emissions of pollutants contained in smoke which affect health.

What this means in practice is that if your home or premises lies within a Smoke Control Area you cannot burn solid fuels unless the fuel is an authorised smokeless fuel (which wood is not) or the appliance/fireplace used is exempt i.e. it can burn solid fuels smokelessly. If you do emit smoke from your chimney or even acquire unauthorised fuel for use in non-exempt appliance within a Smoke Control Area you may be guilty of an offence.

Details of authorised fuels and exempted fireplaces can be found at :

You can also contact your local Environmental Services Department to obtain further advice.

Wood pile  

Updated: 01/09/2009










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