Your 2022 Guide to UK Outdoor Firemaking Laws
Gathering around your town’s biggest bonfire on Guy Fawkes Night as a child. Cooking up a lovely campfire breakfast as a teenager.
Or sitting in front of the chiminea at a garden party with your closest friends as an adult. If you’re like most people in Britain, chances are these are some of your fondest memories.
Let’s just face it. The UK is a nation of pyromaniacs. And with the days getting warmer, chances are you will be building an outdoor fire soon. And to make sure you don’t run afoul of the law as you do so, we wrote this article.
Read it to brush up on your knowledge of outdoor fire laws and make sure you avoid paying hefty fines and making unwanted visits to the police station.
Can I Be Fined For Starting a Fire on My Own Property?
Yes, you can be fined upwards of £5,000 for starting a fire on your own private property.
Before starting a fire, make sure you don’t live in an area where fires are prohibited or in a smoke-free area where only certain types of fires can be burned.
You can be fined for starting your fire too close to a neighbour’s home or a fence (if they file a complaint). You can also be fined for burning material that produces a lot of smoke (e.g. low quality wood). So make sure you use good quality firewood from a trusted Ready to Burn certified store like lektowoodfuels.co.uk.
The police can get involved if you let your smoke drift over a public road and impair road visibility for drivers.
They will also be forced to get involved if you burn anything that creates dangerous fumes. So make sure you don’t burn any plastics, treated wood, or household rubbish. See this article for more information on what you can and can’t burn.
Avoid Fines When Starting Fires on Someone Else’s Property
Going barbequing or camping on someone else’s property? Make sure you have express permission to start a fire from the landowner.
Have permission to camp and think that’s enough? Then you may be in store for an unpleasant surprise (and a hefty fine). Why?
As was explained in a recent article by Lekto Wood Fuels, being allowed to camp doesn’t automatically mean being allowed to build a fire. Due to fire safety laws, many campsites cannot allow you to start a fire on them during certain months of the year. And even if they are not required to do so by law, campsite operators might not want to risk allowing visitors to start fires.
Once you have permission, make sure you follow general fire safety guidelines and leave the area better than you found it.