You can never have too many warnings when it comes to fire safety. Housefires are one of the leading reasons for a significant portion of deaths worldwide each year, so authorities constantly remind the public to be careful and not play with fire (literally). Aside from reminding the public, authorities also designate certain places as a “smoke control area.”
A smoke control area—also known as a smoke control zone—is an area that’s designated by local authorities where homeowners are strictly prohibited from emitting smoke from their homes. The only exception to the rule is if the homeowner is using an authorised appliance or fuel. For this reason, many homeowners tend to get confused if they can use a wood-burning stove, which can emit a considerable amount of smoke. They’re also burdened with the matter because they simply can’t go out and buy another one.
This article will shed some light on whether or not a homeowner can use a wood-burning stove in a smoke control area. Read on below to learn more.
Finding Out If You Live In a Smoke Control Area
It’s pretty easy to find out if you live in a smoke control area because all you need to do is get in touch with the environmental services department of your local council. The reason why smoke control areas came into legislation is simply to maintain healthy air quality.
Burning Wood in a Smoke Control Area
The good news is that using a wood-burning stove in smoke control areas isn’t a blanket ban. Instead, you simply need to follow specific guidelines to use a wood-burning stove cleanly and safely.
These guidelines are as follows:
Using a DEFRA-Approved Stove
The Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (DERFA) is the UK’s governing body that deals with environmental issues. DEFRA evaluates appliances that can emit smoke, particularly stoves. Using a DEFRA-approved stove means it emits minimal amounts of smoke, making them perfect to use if you’re living in a smoke control area.
To check if a stove is DEFRA-approved, simply look for the DEFRA logo that says “DEFRA approved for Smokeless Zone.” If you don’t know where to find one, you shouldn’t worry because most stove manufacturers in the UK now offer DEFRA-approved stoves as part of their product line.
The Firewood Must Be Dry and Seasoned
If you already have a DEFRA-approved stove, you can go burning wood just yet because the firewood must be the right kind of wood—not wood that you got from your broken furniture or an old fence. These kinds of wood have likely had chemicals applied to them, which releases toxins that violate the law of the smoke control area.
The firewood you must use needs to have a moisture content of 20% or less to avoid emitting excessive amounts of smoke. Luckily, Woodsure’s Ready to Burn wood exists for this reason.
Another Thing You Can Burn: Fuel
Wood is generally the only thing that can burn in a DEFRA-approved stove. However, you can also burn certain types of fuel—as long as your stove is multifunctional. The fuels that can be burned in a multifunctional stove include:
- Smokeless briquettes
We should always look for ways to help lessen the damage already being done to our planet. If you live in a smoke control area, using a wood-burning stove will benefit both you and the environment because it helps lessen the harmful effects of smoke on the environment.
Stove Scotland offers installation services for wood burning stoves in Scotland. We offer different options for stoves alongside various installation packages so you can have the right system that will suit your needs. Contact us today to learn more!