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Rules for chimneys, bonfires, open fires and wood burning stoves

On this page you can find out what the rules are if you live in a smoke control area.

The borough of Lewisham is a smoke control area. This means you can’t emit smoke from a chimney unless you’re burning an authorised fuel or using an exempt appliance.

Rules for open fires and wood burning stoves

If you have an open fire, furnace or boiler you must use smokeless fuels, such as fire logs or briquettes, or use an exempt appliance. If you already have or want to buy a wood burning stove then you must use an exempt appliance.

Rules for chimneys, furnaces and boilers

In a smoke control area, it is an offence to produce smoke from a chimney, furnace or boiler.

However, there is a list of exempt appliances and approved fuels.

Rules for bonfires

Domestic bonfires are not illegal but they can cause pollution.  Bonfires that produce dark smoke (usually when plastics are burnt) are illegal.

We can prosecute persistent offenders, including commercial organisations, and issue fines up to £20,000.

Alternatives to bonfires

Look at our rubbish and recycling pages for advice on how to dispose of waste in other ways.


Crime Enforcement and Regulation Service

Telephone: 020 8314 7237
Email: CER@lewisham.gov.uk