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Log burners/solid fuel

Wood burning stoves

Over the past few years there have been a number of tenants who have fitted log burners to supplement their heating systems. Whilst we recognise the efficiency and low fuel costs of these systems, it is of extreme importance that they are fitted correctly and all current building regulations are complied with. In the UK constructing a new chimney or modifying an existing one by, for example, installing a wood burner or fitting a liner to a chimney is subject to building control, which stipulates that wood burners and multi-fuel stoves require a Class 1 chimney.

As there is a risk that the fitting could be non-compliant, which could affect the health and safety of the tenant, as well as the potential to affect our insurance company, who may decline to pay a claim in the event of a problem, we are to insist that all future wood burners are installed by a HETAS (Heating equipment testing approval scheme) installer, who will make sure that the installation is correct and up to code. The engineer will issue a certificate of compliance. This certificate will be checked on our annual gas check.

Tenants with existing log burners ,who do not have a certificate of compliance, will be asked to obtain one by having their installation checked by a HETAS engineer, who if he considers the installation to be safe and compliant ,will issue the necessary certificate. The cost of obtaining the certificate, and any remedial work needed, must be borne by the Tenant. We are asking tenants not to use their log burners until such a certificate has been obtained. We consider that this action is necessary in the interests of safety.

Safety guide for solid fuel users

All the appliances in your home operate more reliably, efficiently and safely if they are installed and serviced correctly.

Solid fuel appliances are no exception to this and following these few simple guidelines will ensure safe and efficient operation.

The three golden rules of safety with solid fuel

1. Ventilation
Heating appliances, whatever fuel they burn, need to be able to 'breathe' in order to function efficiently and safely. To 'breath' they need a constant and sufficient flow of air so the room must not be completely airtight. If your home has draught-proofing or double-glazing fitted, you may need vents or air bricks in an exterior wall of the room. If vents or air bricks are already there always ensure they are not blocked or covered.

2. Cleaning 
 To enable your appliance to 'breathe' efficiently it is absolutely essential that you do not allow soot or ash to build up where it can hinder or prevent the free flow of smoke and other products of combustion.

Solid fuel cleaning and maintenance schedule

3. Correct fuel
Produced to the highest quality standards, solid fuel consistently gives high heat output and exceptional 'value-for-money' performance. 

To get the best out of the appliance and to reap the maximum benefits in terms of fuel efficiency, it is important to use the fuel that is recommended for your appliance.

Incorrect fuels can damage the appliance and flue and can lead to a dangerous build-up of deposits which will block the chimney and cause toxic CO fumes to be emitted into the room
Always buy solid fuel from an Approved Coal Merchant.

Additional Rules for open fires

If your appliance begins to burn slowly, goes out frequently or if you smell or suspect fumes:

The Solid Fuel Association is the UK’s most respected authority on all aspects of domestic solid fuel heating. They are happy to offer expert guidance to both professionals and consumers alike.

To find out more about solid fuel, visit the web site at Or call them on 0845 6014406

Top Copyright © 2006 - 2017 by Ian Pawson

Page last modified: 18th March 2014 02:16:24