The legal requirements of owning a wood-burning stove

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Staying on the right side of the law with your woodburner

Owning a wood-burning stove brings with it a great deal of fun and lots of benefits (including the potential to be more environmentally friendly and reduce your heating bills).

But it also comes with some responsibilities. It’s important to meet those responsibilities in order to avoid falling foul of the law.

Here are some of the main things to keep in mind regarding the legal requirements of owning a stove:

Building Regulations

All stove installations must comply with what is known as Document J of the Building Regulations. That involves meeting certain requirements relating to ventilation, flue position and stove position.

A Hetas-certified installer will ensure that all those regulations are met and can sign-off the project to confirm that this is the case. If you’re doing the installation yourself, you’ll need to pay your local council’s building control office to perform an inspection.

This is essential in order to meet the Building Regulations and have a legal stove installation.

Smoke Control Areas

Another legal consideration is whether or not you live in a smoke control area. If you live in one of these zones – usually large towns and cities – then the fuel and appliances you can use are restricted by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. But this doesn’t mean you can’t have a stove at all.

Here are some examples of stoves that have been approved by Defra to be used in smoke control areas.

Carbon Monoxide Alarms

All new wood-burning stove installations must have a carbon monoxide alarm fitted alongside them.

This is a legal requirement and if you don’t have an alarm, you’re breaking the law (as well as putting your household at unnecessary risk). Click here to buy yours now.

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