There is no law against having bonfires. If materials used are dry, burn quickly and produce white/grey smoke that is not directly blowing consistently towards an occupied residence, then there is little or no problem.

Garden or domestic bonfire smoke can be very irritating or cause stress to those exposed to it. The smoke could potentially contain gases and particles which can affect the health of people with pre existing conditions such as asthma, bronchitis and heart problems. Exposure to bonfire smoke is short lived however, and serious harm is unlikely.

Advice

Here is some useful advice for those wishing to have bonfires:

  • let your neighbours know in advance
  • try to stick to having bonfires after 6pm
  • make sure all materials are dry/non-toxic and will burn quickly
  • choose a time when wind is unlikely to take smoke into any adjacent premises
  • try not to have a bonfire more than once a month (have one larger bonfire rather than multiple smaller ones)
  • supervise the fire and if a problem arises, put it out
  • make sure the fire is put out at the end of the day and not left to smolder overnight

There are laws relating to bonfires may cause nuiscance. See the GOV.UK website (‘Internet Links’) for more information.