Solid fuel stoves and open fires

Many people are choosing solid fuel to heat their homes.

We receive many enquiries about installing wood burning stoves, reinstating open fires, and problems with chimney smoke within the borough.

Find out about:

Open fires and fireplaces

When fireplaces and chimneys have been out of use for many years it is extremely important that they are inspected and repaired to ensure they are safe before being used.

Poor ventilation, incomplete combustion and damaged chimney linings can lead to chimney fires and smoke. Fumes and gases, such as carbon monoxide, could enter the property and build up to lethal levels. It is even possible for fumes and gases to makes their way into an adjoining property.

Find out more about the dangers of carbon monoxide here.

If you plan to open an existing fireplace, it is strongly recommend that you consider employing a government approved installer or engineer.

Wood burning stoves / multi-fuel stoves

When choosing a wood burning or multi-fuel stove you must make sure that the model you pick is a DEFRA approved exempt appliance that can be used in a smoke control area.

These types of stoves have passed stringent tests to ensure that they can burn solid fuel or wood without emitting smoke.

The appliances must be installed and maintained correctly, and operated in line with the manufacturer’s recommendations.

We recommend you use an approved engineer to install and service your solid fuel appliance. 

HETAS approved installers

HETAS is the official governing body for the solid fuel heating industry.

It maintains an approved list of installerschimney sweeps and maintenance engineers that have been trained in the safety and good practice of using solid fuel as a heat source. 

Find out more on the HETAS website, or find out how you can become a HETAS approved chimney sweep.

Using your open fire or stove

The whole of Chesterfield is a smoke control area - that means that you must only burn an authorised fuel or use an exempt appliance (such as an approved log burner or multi-fuel stove). You must only use the specified fuel for your exempt appliance, and must use it according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Paper, firelighters or sticks can be used to start your fire, and it is reasonable for a smokeless fuel to emit small quantities of smoke for a short time during lighting. 

Make sure that any smoke from lighting your fire last no more than 40 minutes, or you could be causing a statutory nuisance. All fuel should be dry to avoid causing excess smoke.

Find out how to get the best from your open fire or wood burning stove.

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Last updated on 14 October 2022