Using a stove in a smoke control area

Are your neighbours complaining about smoke coming from your chimney? Or do you live in an area where you're not allowed to burn wood? There might be a solution for you. A DEFRA-exempt stove is a government-approved stove which allows you to burn wood in a smoke control area.

Author: Line Nederby
Update: 29. February 2024


In the UK, there are many areas where you can’t emit smoke from a chimney, and if you do it might lead to troubles with both your neighbours and your local council.

However, there is a way to get around it. It’s perfectly fine for you to use your wood burning stove in a smoke control area if you make sure that your stove is DEFRA exempt.

The government has approved the use of some stoves in smoke control areas – these are called DEFRA exempt stoves.

To find out whether your stove is DEFRA exempt, click here:




Northern Ireland

What if my stove is not DEFRA exempt?

Don’t worry if your stove is not on the list of exempt stoves and you live in a smoke control area. Although you cannot burn wood, there are still some fuels you can burn in a smoke control area, for example anthracite.

You just have to make sure you’re only using the types of fuel that the manufacturer of your stove recommends.

If you have an old stove, it might be worth checking out if it’s time to get a new one. It could both help you save money and, given new technology, it might be a more eco-friendly solution too.

You should always check with your local authorities to ensure that you’re observing the rules, and remember to make sure to follow the stove manufacturer’s manual.

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