Manchester City Council

Environmental problems Smoke and fire

Smokeless fuel (wood burning stove or oil fired cooker)

Under the Clean Air Act, the whole of Manchester has been designated a Smoke Control Area since 1985 - this was to improve local air quality.

It is an offence for an occupier of a premise within a Smoke Control Area to allow emissions of smoke from a chimney, unless 'authorised fuel' is used.

If you are considering installing an oil or solid fuel burning appliance (such as wood burning stove or oil fired cooker) in Manchester, first obtain confirmation from the supplier that it is an 'exempted appliance' (suitable for use in a smoke control area). If the appliance is not exempted, only authorised fuel is permitted to be burnt.

Find out more about 'smokeless' fuels, and details of exempt appliances.

A leaflet produced by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is available that provides simple steps to reduce environmental and health impacts from your wood burning stove or open fire. It will also benefit you by maximising the efficiency of your stove/fire and reducing maintenance costs. Advice has also been produced by chimney sweeps on the procedures to follow when lighting a stove to minimise smoke emissions.

Building Control consent is also required for the installation unless the work is carried out by a member of a Competent Persons Scheme: visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/competent-person-scheme-current-schemes-and-how-schemes-are-authorised for a list of authorised installers of combustion appliances.

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