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Dark and black smoke

Smoke emitted from a premises (other than domestic bonfires) is covered by the Clean Air Act of 1993. Even if you do not live in a smoke control area, you have to abide by certain regulations.

The main offences that we investigate are:

Section 1 – Prohibition of dark smoke etc. from chimneys. This states that it is an offence to emit dark smoke from the chimney of any building on any day unless specified in the Dark Smoke (Permitted Periods) Regulations of 1958. We will write to you if you commit an offence under this legislation and then, if it occurs again, will consider prosecution.

Section 2 – Prohibition of dark smoke from industrial or trade premises (other than from chimneys). This prohibits the occupier of such premises from emitting dark smoke on any day.

Smoke colour

  • dark smoke generally comes from a fire that is burning things such as wet wood or plastics
  • black smoke typically comes from fires burning items such as rubber tyres or cables
  • smoke colour is measured by using the Ringelmann chart.
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