Businesses asked to help inform residents on home fire rules

Release Date: 16/02/2017

Businesses in the borough that sell fuel for coal fires or wood burning appliances are being asked to make sure that customers understand the rules around domestic fires.

In a bid to combat local air pollution levels, businesses in the borough, including hardware shops, petrol stations and supermarkets are being asked to talk to their customers and display promotional materials reminding them that the borough is in a Smoke Control Area.

Over the past few months, air pollution in London has peaked. With experts at King’s College London claiming that pollution is the worst since April 2011. One of the main contributors is the extra cold weather, combined with ‘traffic pollution and air pollution from wood burning.’

For many years Richmond has been a ‘Smoke Control Area’.

People living in the borough, who have real fires at home, or wood burners for heating, must use authorised fuel. This means, fuels which have passed tests to confirm that they are capable of burning without producing smoke. People are only allowed to use unauthorised fuel in ‘approved’ appliances that have been adapted to remove smoke.

As part of a campaign to ensure that residents are familiar with the rules around domestic fires, before they purchase an appliance or fuel, Richmond Council is asking businesses to help.

Cllr Pamela Fleming, Richmond Council Cabinet Member for the Environment, said:

“We all have the right to breathe clean air. However, across London we are breaching legal pollution limits.

“In Richmond we have many households that have real fires or wood burning stoves. However, we know that many people don’t realise the restrictions in place on what they are allowed to burn.

“We are now asking businesses to help. We are writing to around businesses to ask them to talk to customers about the rules. Making sure that they don’t sell fuel to people inappropriately. We will also asking them to display posters, encouraging people to check before they buy.”

For more information on what is and isn’t allowed visit Smoke Control Areas webpage.

Updated: 16 February 2017