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Preparing for a spring clean? Do these three things if you own a stove or open fire

Add this to your to-do list to reduce the negative impact of burning at home.

By Rebecca Roberts | Last updated Mar 7, 2024

Burn better campaign

Did you know that burning at home via an open fire or stove is a major contributor to a type of pollutant called fine particulate matter (aka PM2.5)? These tiny particles can’t always be seen, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there and they’re actually harmful to your health and the environment in general. 

So, the Burn Better campaign is encouraging those of you who use an open fire or stove to add these three all-important activities to your spring cleaning to-do list:

  1. Check it,

  2. Sweep it,

  3. And feed it the right fuel

These three actions will help reduce the negative effects of burning. And it’s perfect timing, really, given the time of year. Winter hasn’t fully passed yet and spring cleaning is no doubt creeping onto your agenda. 

1. Check it regularly

It’s crucial that you maintain your stove or open fire regularly to ensure its efficient and safe operation. This includes checking it regularly for signs of damage or wear and tear and having your stove professionally serviced at least once a year. 

Doing so will make sure that all components are functioning properly, and any potential issues can be identified and addressed quickly. 

Related: How much do you know about your stove or open fire?

2. Sweep it annually

Chimney maintenance is an essential aspect of fireplace and stove safety. Over time, soot and tar  can build up in your chimney, increasing the risk of chimney fires and reducing efficiency.. 

To mitigate these risks, it’s recommended that you have your chimney swept by a professional chimney sweep annually. 

3. Use the right fuel

The type of fuel used in your stove or open fire significantly impacts its performance, efficiency, and environmental impact. To burn better, it’s essential that you’re using the correct fuels at all times.

Opt for cleaner-burning fuels that produce fewer harmful particles - like dry wood and manufactured solid fuels - and look out for the ‘Ready to Burn’ logo.

When you see the logo on your fuel, rest assured you're choosing the cleanest option. It’ll be prominently displayed on the fuel's packaging or nearby on the shelf, accompanied by the manufacturer's details and a certification number.

Ready to burn logo

To find out how you can burn better to reduce the negative impacts your open stove or fire can have on your family's health, visit the Burn Better website.


The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) is the government department responsible for improving and protecting the environment. We aim to grow a green economy and sustain thriving rural communities. We also support our world-leading food, farming, and fishing industries.

About the author

Rebecca Roberts is a writer, editor, and content marketing expert hailing from Leeds. Here at Mumsnet, she brings parents content designed to make life easier. Beyond her role as an editor here at Mumsnet, Rebecca can be found balancing life as a working mum of two toddlers and when she’s not at her desk, you’ll likely find her at a local playgroup, in a nearby coffee shop, or walking the dog.

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