Smoke control areas in Crawley

Most of Crawley is covered by smoke control orders which designate 'smoke control areas' within the borough.

A smoke control area is an area where people and businesses must not:

  • emit smoke from a chimney
  • buy or sell unauthorised fuel for use in a smoke control area unless it is used in an exempt appliance (appliances which are approved for use in smoke control areas)

You can check to see if you live in a smoke control area by visiting Defra's interactive map for smoke control areas, or by contacting the Environmental Health department of Crawley Borough Council on

Smoke control area rules

In a smoke control area it is an offence to emit smoke from a chimney. You can only burn authorised fuel, unless you use an appliance approved by Defra (also known as an ‘exempt appliance’ or ‘Defra approved appliance’). Find out about authorised fuels on the Defra website. Find out about exempt appliances on the Defra website.

You can use outdoor appliances such as BBQs, chimineas and pizza ovens in smoke control areas. However, if your appliance uses a chimney on the roof of a building (such as a summerhouse), you can only use authorised fuel, unless it is an exempt appliance.

Find out more details about the rules in smoke control areas on the GOV.UK website Smoke Control Area Rules.


Changes to the Clean Air Act 1993 mean that you can now be fined up to £300 if your chimney releases smoke in a smoke control area.

Advice on reducing smoke from solid fuel burning

Domestic wood burning is a major source of particulate matter emissions (smoke and soot), and accounts for a higher percentage of particulate emissions than from all road traffic exhausts. Wood burning in the home has also been found to triple the effect of harmful particles inside the home.

Even if you don’t live in a smoke control area, choosing what you burn and how you burn it can make a big difference to the pollution it creates.

Damp wood creates a lot of smoke and open fires produce four times more pollution than wood-burning stoves. So, improving how we burn helps reduce smoky pollutants and increases heat output, which can also save you money.

The following steps will help to reduce smoke and particulates from wood fires and open stoves:

  • ensure you only burn dry wood – that is wood with less than 20% moisture content
  • any wood you purchase should be labelled ‘ready to burn’ – this ensures the wood is considered dry
  • do not burn treated wood (for example old furniture or pallets) or household rubbish
  • clean your chimney regularly. This will increase efficiency and reduce the risk of chimney fires

The following links provide more information and guidance on how to reduce smoke emissions from solid fuel burning:

Selling solid fuel in smoke control areas

From May 2021, it became an offence to sell unauthorised fuel under the Air Quality (Domestic Solid Fuels Standards) (England) Regulations 2020. Visit the Defra website to find out more about the Air Quality Regulations.

You could be fined up to £1,000 if you sell unauthorised fuel to customers using non-exempt appliances in smoke control areas.

If purchasing solid fuel, ensure that it is certified as ready to burn. The Ready to Burn mark on packaging identifies solid fuels that are legal to burn at home in compliance with the Air Quality Regulations 2020.

Retailers should check the rules about selling solid fuels for domestic use in smoke control areas by visiting the GOV.UK website where detailed guidance is provided on the sale of domestic solid fuel in England: