Smoke control areas

Smoke Control Areas (SCAs) have been in existence for a lot longer than the CAZ.  Most local authorities declared SCAs in the 1950s and 1960s to reduce the amount of smoke pollution arising from burning of coal and wood in factories and homes. 

How do I know if I live in a SCA?

If you live in England you can check if you live in a SCA by looking on this national map.

If you are a Bradford resident, there is a more detailed map of Bradford SCA boundaries here.

If you live in a SCA there are smoke control area rules you must follow if you want to burn solid fuels (including wood).

Smoke Control Area rules

If you live in a SCA you cannot emit smoke from a chimney.

You can only burn authorised fuels in a SCA, unless you use an appliance approved by Defra (also known as an ‘exempt appliance’ or ‘Defra approved appliance’)

What is an authorised fuel?

An authorised fuel is a man-made solid fuel approved for use in a Smoke Control Area. They are often referred to as ‘Manufactured Solid Fuel (MSF)’ or ‘Mineral Fuels’.

Authorised fuels are often supplied in the form of ‘smokeless’ briquettes or pellets. 

The only manufactured Solid Fuels (MSF) authorised for use in SCAs in England are those that are included on this Defra list: Defra list of authorised fuels in England.

How do I know the MSF I’m buying is an authorised fuel?

An independent body ‘HETAS’ administers a ‘Ready to Burn’ scheme for MSFs.  ‘Ready to Burn’ certified MSFs have been tested by HETAS to ensure they meet the sulphur content and smoke emissions standards for use in SCAs. 

When purchasing MSF to use in a SCA you should check it carries the ‘Ready to Burn’ certification mark for MSF.

More information about the HETAS certification scheme can be found here: Woodsure's DEFRA Ready to Burn Scheme & Certification - HETAS

The Approved Coal Merchants Scheme (ACMS) is the body recognised by Trading Standards as the regulator for the coal trade. Members are fully trained and are committed to serving the customer. 

Ready to Burn logo. Company: A Supplier Company. Certificate No MSF9999.

A coal merchant who is a member of ACMS should be able to provide you with good advice on what fuels are most suitable for use in your home.

Approved Coal Solid Fuel Merchants & Wood Logs Merchants

Approved Coal Merchant logo. 

What happens if I do emit smoke from my chimney?

In England you may have to pay a Fixed Penalty of up to £300 if your chimney releases smoke in a smoke control area.

You can also be fined up to £1,000 if you buy unauthorised fuel to use in an appliance that’s not approved by Defra.

Further advice on SCA rules and locations of SCA boundaries within the Bradford District can be sought from the Environmental Health Department

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More information about SCA rules is available here: Smoke control areas: the rules - GOV.UK (

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