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My Norwich

Bonfires and smoke

There are no laws against having bonfires at residential properties, but there are laws for the nuisance they can cause.

If you are being disturbed by bonfire smoke from your neighbour, it is worth talking to them about it in the first instance – they may not realise they are causing a problem. We have put together some tips to help you resolve issues with neighbours, to help guide that initial conversation.

Complain about a neighbour's bonfire

A bonfire must happen frequently to be considered a nuisance. If the situation doesn’t improve report it to us providing evidence about the frequency of the bonfires, their duration, location and how the bonfire directly affects you.

Report a smoke problem 

If you are worried about the safety of a neighbour's bonfire, contact the Fire Service for advice or call 999 in an emergency.

Dark smoke from domestic waste bonfires

It is an offence to burn household waste which creates dark smoke (this includes rubber, painted or treated wood, furniture, tyres and plastic).To find out how to get rid of household waste items that you cannot burn at home visit Norfolk County Council's website.

Danger to traffic by smoke

It is an offence to allow smoke to drift across the road and become a danger to traffic. If smoke from a bonfire is causing poor visibility on the highway please contact the police on 101 or 999 in an emergency.

Lighting fires deliberately (arson) is a police issue - please call them on 101 or via 999 if it's an emergency.

Bonfires on allotments

We understand that you may have allotment waste that is non-compostable and so you may need to have a small bonfire. If this is the case, we ask you to remember the below points.

  • You can only have a bonfire between 1 October and 31 March and after 9am.
  • Make sure the ground and the items to be burnt are dry so as to avoid the fire smoking.
  • Always have a hot, quick fire.
  • Be considerate to neighbours – don’t have a fire when the wind is blowing towards surrounding houses.
  • Your fire must be extinguished by sunset.
  • Never leave your fire unattended.
  • Never leave the allotment site without making sure the fire has been properly extinguished.

Open fires and wood burning stoves

Open fires and wood burning stoves advice leaflet

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