Release date: 5 March 2020
One lucky Sussex resident has won more than £200 worth of ‘clean’ fire wood after answering questions about how she heats her home.
Claire Foden of Chichester, was one of over 1700 residents across Sussex to take part in the Clean Burn Sussex survey.
She has been awarded a large bulk bag of kiln dried logs worth £243, donated by Certainly Wood.
With one in 10 homes burning wood in the south east, the air quality partnership Sussex Air set up the survey to find out what fuel people are using and to encourage best practice.
The type of fuel people choose to use on their fire can affect air quality, with damp wood being smokier, less efficient and more polluting compared to dry wood which is cleaner.
Residents are being encouraged to make the swap to well-seasoned or kiln dried logs with a water content of less than 20 per cent as these give a cleaner, hotter burn.
Smokeless coal, wood pellets, briquettes and heat logs are also preferable.
Another way to reduce pollution is to switch to EcoDesign Ready Stoves which can cut harmful emissions by up to 80 per cent compared to an older stove and up to 90 per cent compared to an open fire.
Nadeem Shad, Chair of Sussex-air, said: “We were incredibly pleased to see so many residents enter the survey. Making small changes such as choosing to use a ‘cleaner’ fuel on your fire can make a real difference to the local air quality.”
Deborah Urquhart, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “Many of us don’t appreciate the impact of using coal and traditional wood on our fires. These fuels actually have a damaging effect on air quality and health, especially for people with respiratory conditions like asthma.
“I hope this survey has encouraged people to think before they buy their fuel and choose ‘cleaner’ alternatives like kiln dried logs instead.”
Nic Snell, Managing Director of Certainly Wood Ltd., said: "We were delighted to have been able to support this vital research with a gift of our British Kiln dried logs which are all approved under the Woodsure/Ready to Burn scheme. It is also timely research as we welcome the recent legislation to ban the sale of wet wood and coal. It is vital that we are able to use wood in a way that minimises emissions. The introduction of Ecodesign Stoves and now, ‘Ready to Burn’ approved fuel is a massive step forward to address concerns."
Before lighting a fire, make sure the chimney or flue is properly swept and cleaned to help prevent a fire from breaking out.
Other safety precautions include using a spark guard, extinguishing the fire before going to bed, and fitting a smoke alarm.
Sussex Air is a partnership of all the local authorities across East and West Sussex and Brighton & Hove, its aim is to promote improvements in air quality across the two counties.
More information can be found on the Clean Burn Sussex website.
For regular updates on pollution levels in your area, sign up for Air Alerts.