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Smoke control and bonfires

The council is responsible for controlling smoke and bonfires in Islington to improve air quality.

The whole of Islington is a Smoke Control Zone and it is an offence to burn unauthorised fuel or use an appliance that is not exempt under the Clean Air Act 

Fires in your home

Burning solid fuel, in an open fire or stove, creates pollution in your home and surrounding area that could impact the health of you and those around you. Fires and stoves are also not the most cost-efficient way to heat your home. Check our energy advice.

To find out more about the impacts of burning visit the London Wood Burning Project website.

However if you do burn you must comply with restriction put in place through the Clean Air Act:

  • burn smokeless fuel (this can be widely purchased and is labelled as ‘smokeless’)
  • use specific types of wood burning stoves or furnaces

The Defra website has a list of the authorised fuels and appliances that you must use in a Smoke Control Area like Islington. However, even an approved fuel and/or exempt appliance can still have an impact on air quality.


Garden bonfires add to pollution and poor air quality and can make health problems (e.g. asthma and bronchitis) worse. They can also be a nuisance to neighbours.

Instead, dispose of your garden and kitchen waste in a responsible way by composting or using our garden waste collection service.

To report issues with bonfires during office hours, you can call our residential environmental health team on 020 7527 3083.

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