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Cutting Pollution from Household Burning

The British Flue and Chimney manufacturers (BFCMA) supports the Government action to cut pollution from household burning, announced on 21st February, 2020.

Burning wet wood makes no sense on any level.  Freshly cut wood consists of between 60% and 80% water, so burning it before drying is like trying to burn water, producing steam and smoke but little heat.

Burning wood that has a moisture content below 20% in an open fire or stove will dramatically reduce the particulate emissions compared to wet wood. The introduction of the Woodsure Ready to Burn scheme will help consumers identify wood that has the appropriate moisture content. For those people who have access to freshly cut wood should leave logs to dry naturally. This is known as seasoning and can take between 1 and 2 years depending on the species.

The higher price of pre-dried wood can be substantially offset by greater heat produced by burning dry wood. Fewer logs are required to produce the same level of heat as illustrated in the attached infographic.

Sulphur is not only bad for the environment it can also corrode appliances and stainless steel flues. Banning household coal and capping the volume of sulphur at 2% in smokeless fuels is good news for the health of appliances and flues.

Defra does not plan to ban open fires or stoves. Instead Defra believes that banning wet wood and household coal will enable them to meet their emission reduction targets.

For further details contact Dennis Milligan at

Document J reflects the Latest Guidance on the Installation of Chimneys and Flues

Document J now recognises the alternative installation methods introduced in the latest edition of the European standard for the installation of flues and chimneys. An acknowledgement of the updated standard (BSEN 15287-1) has been posted in the Frequently Asked Questions and Answers section of Document J. This removes any grey issues in working to the updated European standard.

The UK annex to BSEN 15287-1, the installation standard for flues and chimneys was revised in 2013. The updated standard contains a number of significant changes in installation practice for wood burning and multi fuel stoves. Stainless steel twin wall flue can now be used as connecting flue pipe, connecting directly to appliance. This can significantly reduce the required distance to combustibles. Under certain circumstances the length of horizontal flue through a wall can be increased from 150mm to 450mm, simplifying the connection through the wall to an external flue. The new annex also suggests alternative ways to facilitate the visual inspection of enclosed stainless steel flues in voids, as required by Document J.

The BFCMA guide, entitled General Guidance on the Selection and Installation of Flues and Chimneys for Wood Burning and Multi Fuel Appliances gives clear guidance on how to install a flue in accordance with the new standard. The guide can be downloaded from the BFCMA web site.

For further details contact Dennis Milligan at

BFCMA creates new web site and guidance on chimneys for wood burning appliances.

The growing interest in the carbon saving potential of wood burning stoves has led to a corresponding growth in the number of flue and chimney installations for wood burning appliances. Increasingly heating engineers are seeking to add the installation of wood burning stoves as one of their competences.

To help meet this need for information the BFCMA has created a new web site ( with a downloadable document giving guidance on the selection and installation on flues and chimneys.

The web site has an easy to understand overview of the different types of chimneys and flues available with links to individual BFCMA members’ web sites for a more detailed explanation of the products and how they should be used. There are also standard installations drawings showing how the different types of flues and chimneys should be installed with wood burning appliances. The regulations for wood burning and solid fuel are different to those for gas and oil appliances; as are some of the flues that can be used. So it is important that the appropriate flue or chimney is installed with an appliance.

The web site can be used as a reference site for installers and specifiers as it contains an up-to-date listing of latest flue and chimney standards. Guidance is also given on the new standard for clay chimney liners. The standard was revised in 2012 into two parts to cover liners both non-condensing and condensing appliances. People can become confused by the CE designation for stainless steel flues so there is a clear explanation of the coding system used to specify the different classes of flue.

The web site and the guide have been developed to give installers and people thinking of buying a wood burning appliance a better understanding of what is involved in correctly flueing a wood burning stove. There are sections on the design, installation and maintenance of flues and chimneys. The guidance given is line with the training given to installers by HETAS.

This is the first stage in a series of initiatives designed to provide clear information on the installation and use of chimneys and flues. Already planned for 2013 are guidance on the flueing of pellet boilers and an overview of the new UK annex to the installation standard for chimneys (BSEN15287). The publication of the guidance on the flueing of pellet boilers is timed to meet the anticipated increase in demand for pellet boilers through the Green Deal initiative. By simply registering on the BFCMA web site people can be sure of receiving these documents when they are published.

The BFCMA is the British flue and chimney manufacturers association. The Association represents the main manufacturers and sole importers of chimneys and flues in the UK. The BFCMA works closely with government departments and other organisations to provide efficient and safe chimney solutions.

For further details contact Dennis Milligan at