Which Fireplaces Can Suit London’s Smoke Restriction?

In some areas of the UK’s capital, there is a smoke restriction which means that you may not be able to use certain fireplaces or burn certain fuels within particular areas. While this may limit your options when you are looking for the perfect fireplace for your next project or for your home, this does not mean that you won’t be able to find a suitable option. So, read on to find out more about smoke control and how you can still benefit from a fireplace in the capital without disregarding the wood burning stove ban.

Real Flame

Why are Smoke Control Areas Necessary?

London has a long history with air pollution, and a 2017 report discovered that levels of the particulate PM2.5 were higher than the levels deemed safe by the World Health Organisation. While there are thought to be a number of sources of the air pollution, wood burning is thought to account for as much as a third of the pollution levels.

It is not surprising then that the city is taking seemingly drastic measures considering the history London has with pollution. In December 1952, pollution levels became so severe and mixed with cold and windless conditions that the city was plunged under a thick layer of smog for five days. The ‘Great Smog’ was so serious that it resulted in roughly 12,000 deaths, both directly from respiratory effects and accidents caused by the low visibility.

London Smoke Control Areas

Most boroughs have declared the whole borough as a Smoke Control Area. These include the following:

  • Greenwich
  • Hammersmith and Fulham
  • Islington
  • Kensington and Chelsea
  • Redbridge

Other parts of London are only declaring parts of the local authority as Smoke Control Areas. These include the following:

  • Barnet
  • Bromley
  • Croydon

Using unauthorised fuel or emitting smoke from a chimney or a building within these areas is deemed an offence and can result in a fine of up to £1,000.

Can I Burn Wood in a Smoke Control Area?

While you may think that burning wood in a smoke control area would be completely banned, this may not be the case. In fact, DEFRA has compiled a list of appliances that are exempt from the ban and the fuels that can be used with them. In many cases, these fuels are wood logs, however, they must not contain halogenated organic compounds or heavy metals from treatments with wood preservatives or coatings.

Which Fireplaces Can I Have?

These regulations do not mean that you cannot have a real fire in a London residence. In fact, there are plenty of Real Flame fireplaces that offer the opportunity to have a real fire but have been approved by DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) so they can be used in Smoke Control Areas. There are also a number of outdoor fires you can use, so long as they are DEFRA approved.

Firefox 5

The Firefox 5 is DEFRA approved and can burn smokeless fuels including dry wood logs. Not only that, it is a very attractive wood burning stove that can add a touch of luxury to a home. As this model is exempt from the smoke restrictions, you can still burn real wood on your fire in London and other Smoke Control Areas.

Firefox 5

Citizen Solid Fuel Architectural Insert Fire

This modern take on the wood burning fireplace provides a strong statement for any room. The Citizen Solid Fuel Architectural Insert Fire is DEFRA approved and can burn wood logs, so you get a real wood burning fire. This model uses a ‘hole-in-the-wall’ style which offers practicality as well as a stylish aesthetic.

Citizen Solid Fuel Architectural Insert Fire

Of course, there are many other fireplace options that you can choose from that are exempt from the smoke control regulations. You can choose from a variety of Bio-Ethanol fires and burners that offer a modern look that could be perfect for a modern property in the nation’s capital, or any of our other models that are DEFRA approved.

If you are unsure if you live in a Smoke Control Area, you can contact your local council directly or view a list of local authorities that have been declared a Smoke Control Area here. We will be more than happy to advise on the fireplaces that would be suitable for your property and the fuel that you are able to use with these units.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with a member of our team by calling 020 7731 5025 or by emailing sales@realflame.co.uk and we’ll answer any questions you may have.

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