Smoke pollution

Bonfire guidelines

We offer this advice to minimise the impact that bonfires can have on neighbouring properties. However with the current Coronavirus pandemic we would strongly urge that bonfires are not lit at this time. Coronavirus is a respiratory disease and people’s breathing could be worsened due to smoke inhalation. We are asking if people could ;support their neighbours by not lighting bonfires while the pandemic continues. Smoke can pose a risk to people’s health, so avoiding fires will reduce the chance of people having their airways affected and avoid further burden on the NHS.

If a bonfire is a necessity then please follow the guidelines:

  • When lighting a bonfire, only burn dry material. Damp vegetation does not burn well as it produces large volumes of smoke and smoulders for long periods of time. The burning of this type of waste causes the most complaints and so it should be disposed of in other ways.
  • Before having a bonfire, let your neighbours know. This gives them an opportunity to shut their windows and bring any washing indoors.
  • Never burn household rubbish, rubber tyres, anything containing plastic, painted materials, plywood and chipboard, foam or paint.
  • Never use old engine oil, meths or petrol to light the fire or encourage it.
  • Avoid lighting a fire in unsuitable weather conditions - smoke hangs in the air on damp, still days and in the evening. If it is windy, smoke may be blown into neighbours gardens and across roads.
  • Never leave the fire unattended or leave it to smoulder - put it out.

If a bonfire held on commercial or industrial premises gives rise to dark smoke an offence is committed. The occupier of the land and the person who caused or permitted the smoke can be taken to court and may be fined.