Bonfire Night in The Cotswolds - Some Good Advice from CDC
21st October 2012
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Bonfires can cause problems, be a source of irritation or a health risk to other people and can also be dangerous. It is better to consider an alternative way to dispose of refuse.

Garden waste can be composted or disposed of through the Council's green waste collection scheme. Large items can be taken to your nearest "tip" or collection arranged through the bulk collection service, it may be possible to recycle items If you do have a bonfire you should take care that you do not cause a nuisance to your neighbours from smoke or smell and you should bear the following points in mind: Burning only dry materials will help to limit the smoke.

• Never burn household rubbish or rubber tyres; or use oil or petrol to light the fire.

• Never light a fire in unsuitable weather conditions - smoke will hang in the air on damp, still days and in the evenings.

• Never burn when the wind will carry the smoke over roads or other properties

• Avoid burning at weekends and on Bank Holidays when people want to enjoy their gardens.

• Never leave a fire unattended or leave it to smoulder - douse it with water if necessary. Remember - if the Council is satisfied there is a statutory nuisance, action can be taken under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Private individuals can take their own action through the Magistrates' court if they wish.

There are no byelaws, bans or time restrictions that control the lighting of bonfires. Health risks For the majority of people, short term exposure to a bonfire is unlikely to present any serious health issues. However, for those particularly susceptible to air pollution the results are potentially more serious.

Smoke from garden fires contains many chemicals and particles, the precise composition depending on what is being burned. Some of these chemicals can trigger asthmatic attacks and some are known carcinogens. Bonfires can therefore pose a health risk, particularly to people who suffer from lung problems and to the very young and old.

These people may have to take action to reduce, or to avoid breathing in such smoke. Suffering From Smoke Nuisance? In some cases an informal approach may solve the problem:

• Talk to your neighbours and let them know that their bonfires are causing a nuisance - they may be unaware of the problem if no-one else has complained.

• Suggest a solution; an appropriate time when they can have the occasional bonfire which will cause you least nuisance, or suggest a suitable alternative.

• Allow your neighbours reasonable time to make the necessary arrangements to prevent the nuisance.

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