Burning in the home

Open fires and wood burning stoves have become a popular form of secondary heating. However, the use of these can lead to an increase in air pollution within the home and outside.

Domestic wood and coal burning emits up to 38% of the PM2.5 (particulate matter) across the United Kingdom. This can be reduced if a good quality fuel is used.

In addition to heating, leisure activities such as cooking on  barbecues, using fire pits and fireworks can all increase pollution.

Using the correct fuel is the most important consideration for reducing pollution.

Burning wet wood requires heat to boil off excess moisture within the fuel source. This process creates lots of smoke and contributes to air pollution.

The burning of treated wood and man-made materials can give off toxic chemicals into the air.

Chelmsford City Council will promote schemes and campaigns to educate users to choose the right fuel, provide advice on moisture content within fuel and how to look after a wood burning stove.

Please see some Dos and Don’ts for wood burners and bonfires below:

Woodsure Ready to burn


  • Choose the right appliance
  • Consider burning less
  • Buy ‘Ready to Burn’ fuel
  • Regularly maintain and service your stove
  • Get your chimney swept regularly
  • Install a carbon monoxide monitor
Burn right


  • Don’t burn treated waste wood (old furniture, pallets or fence panels) or household rubbish
  • Don’t burn any man-made waste such as plastics or rubber
  • Don’t burn wet wood
  • Don’t burn damp green waste
  • Avoid slumbering your stove all night