Wood burning stoves and firepits warning issued by Brighton and Hove Council
The council is urging people using wood burning stoves or lighting bonfires and fire pits to consider their neighbours and the most vulnerable members of their households.
With residents now allowed to meet with friends and relatives in gardens or back yards, more people are using open fires and fire pits to keep warm on chilly days.
However these can be a nuisance to others and could have impacts on people’s health, the council said.
It is urging people not to create excess smoke and odour, and advised people to compost garden waste or take it to a recycling centre rather than burn it.
When finished with a fire, people should put it out properly to avoid smouldering, carbon monoxide and smoke pollution.
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 – see a full map here.
In these areas, residents can only burn approved, smokeless fuels.
A spokesman said: “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.”
People are also being asked 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,” the council said.
Smoke can also have an impact on people’s health.
“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,” the spokesman said.
“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.”