£1,000 fine ALERT: Real fireplace owners in Worsley, Boothstown, Swinton, Irlam, Eccles and Salford need to know this…

If you live in the Salford City Council area, then you need to be aware that there are strict rules which you need to follow if you have a multi fuel stove, woodburner or open fire.

Generally, the majority of the city council area is a Smoke Control Area. Put simply, this means that there are certain types of fuel you can burn and certain fuels you cannot.

Firstly, let’s look at those which cannot be used. These are traditional housecoal and any smokeless fuel which is not approved for use in a Smoke Control Area.

Burning these in a controlled area means you run the risk of a fine of up to £1,000.

In terms of fuels you CAN burn, these include smokeless fuels which are authorised for smoke control areas (check before you buy). These can be used on multi fuel stoves and open fires in the Salford area.

You can burn dried or seasoned logs in Salford BUT these can only be used on a DEFRA-Exempt appliance. This means a stove which has been specifically tested and approved for use for burning wood in Smoke Control Areas. Open fires are not DEFRA exempt and therefore you can’t legally burn logs on them.

The only fly in the ointment is that there are small pockets of the Salford City Council area which have no restrictions whatsoever. These include parts of Boothstown, Irlam and Swinton. However, it’s good practice to stick with generally Smoke Control Area rules as it will be better for our environment.

Salford City Council tell there have been over 400 complaints received and investigated by the authority in relation to potential breaches of the Clean Air Act since 2009. A detailed breakdown is shown below.

Despite the fact that have been no prosecutions in that time, it does show that smoke nuisance does get reported so that’s why it’s always best to err on the side of caution by making sure you follow both the letter and spirit of the law.

Mr Soot Chimney Sweep is a co-founder of Burnright, a DEFRA-backed campaign which aims to educate solid fuel users on how to get the best out of their appliance while doing their bit for the environment. He’s also a HETAS Approved Sweep, and member of the Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps, offering a professional and friendly chimney sweep and stove service. Book Mr Soot online or call 0800 0541154.

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