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Smoke complaints

Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service is calling for people to consider their neighbours and their own safety ahead of having a controlled burn/bonfire.

As we spend more time in our gardens during the Covid-19 pandemic, smoke from a garden fire can cause a nuisance to neighbours, not to mention present a potential fire risk.

Please follow this important safety advice:

  • Be considerate of your neighbours - reconsider having a bonfire in your garden.
  • If you do decide to have a bonfire, situate it away from sheds, hedges and fences, making sure nothing is overhanging.
  • Do not leave your bonfire unsupervised.
  • Don't use accelerants such as petrol to start a fire.
  • Consider what you are burning. Smoke from plastic can be toxic.
  • Contact the Fire Control team on 01332 861800 to avoid Firefighters being called out unnecessarily.


Bonfires should not be lit if the property is surrounded by others and a prevailing wind will take the smoke onto adjoining properties. A one-off event is unlikely to be classed as a nuisance unless the fire is very large or burns for a long time. The burning of products such as cables and plastics is prohibited.

Household waste material should not be not burnt; green/organic waste should be composted and waste suitable for recycling should be recycled.  The remainder should be dealt with through the household waste collection system.

Before you report a problem to us, try to talk to the person responsible. They might not realise they're causing a problem.

Read more about resolving neighbour disputes on GOV.UK

Making a complaint

If your complaint is regarding a council property, please contact our housing officer in the first instance.

We don't investigate anonymous complaints. We won't reveal your identity during our initial investigations, but it may be necessary to present your statement in court should the matter require a prosecution.

If your complaint goes on to a formal investigation stage, it may be registered against your property. This then has to be declared if and when you come to sell it.

Other information

We do not operate an out of hours service but Environmental Officers can make pre-arranged visits out of hours to investigate ongoing noise complaints. Any calls received out of hours will normally be dealt with by an officer the next working day.

If you wish to speak to us about domestic nuisance complaint that has been made against you, please contact Environmental Health.