Whether your neighbour has a chiminea and it’s smoking a lot or you’re thinking of buying a chiminea you may be wondering Are Chimineas Legal?
Chimineas are legal in the UK and can be used in smoke control areas and zones. However, if they cause a nuisance due to excess smoke, abatement orders and fines can be issued under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
What is a Smoke Control Area?
Smoke control areas were created under the Clean Air Act 1993. They are legally defined areas where you are not allowed to emit smoke from within a building unless you are using approved solid fuels or exempt appliances. You can be fined up to £1000 for breaking this law.
Do I Live in a Smoke Control Area?
You can find out if you live in a smoke control area by simply visiting the UK Government website https://www.gov.uk/smoke-control-area-rules where you’ll find links through to your local council.
If you want to check which smokeless fuels have been approved by DEFRA and those that you can burn on an open fire without producing smoke. visit the DEFRA website https://smokecontrol.defra.gov.uk/fuels.php.
Do smoke control areas apply to chimineas?
Smoke control areas do not apply to chimineas as they are used outside. They only apply to chimineas if they are used within some form of building, including summerhouses or sheds.
What is Smoke Nuisance?
Smoke nuisance is when smoke substantially and unreasonably interferes with the enjoyment or use of your home or other premises or when your health is impacted or likely to be impacted by the smoke.
Unfortunately, smokey chimineas BBQs and bonfires can be very annoying and upsetting for those that live nearby. Large amounts of smoke can prevent neighbours from opening windows, hanging out washing, and also from enjoying their own gardens.
To prevent your chiminea from smoking excessively you can follow our handy tips on our in-depth article.
Government and local council guidance on smoke nuisance are that you should try and prevent smoke where possible. This includes avoiding fires close to boundaries or neighbouring buildings, preventing your chiminea from smoking in the first place by using seasoned or smokeless fuel, and restricting the number of times smoke is released by limiting the number of times you use your appliance.
If neighbours report your chiminea as a smoke nuisance then the council is duty-bound to investigate. If they find that smoke nuisance is happening then you may be served an abatement notice. Failure to comply can end up with you being fined.
How to Stop Chiminea Smoke Nuisance
The main way to stop a chiminea smoke causing a nuisance is to ensure your chiminea doesn’t smoke to much. This is easily done by following a few simple steps which can be found in our How to stop a chiminea smoking article.
Another great way to minimise the risk of your chiminea smoking is to buy a specially designed chiminea extension. These simple chimney extensions fit neatly onto your chiminea and direct the smoke further upwards.
This will often help to take smoke above fences, over washing, and away from neighbouring property’s windows. Chiminea extensions simply fit on top and can be lifted off again when not required and are a simple solution.