Chichester residents one of the most likely to complain about fire in the UK

Chichester is reported to be one of the smokiest council areas in the UK according to a recent freedom of information request.

Chichester has one of the highest frequencies of smoke complaints per capita compared to any other council area in the UK.

According to data sourced, Chichester has one of the highest frequencies of smoke complaints per capita compared to any other council area in the UK.

Residents in Chichester made 16.59 reports per 10,000 people in the last year, making the area the 10th highest for complaints relating to bonfires and smoke.

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The national average reports per 10,000 people is 6.76, putting Chichester considerably above the average.

As summer is edging closer Karl Sullivan, owner of Radiance Fireplaces has provided some advice to avoid unexpected smoke related disputes between neighbours:

“Talk with your neighbours - If you have a good relationship with the people who live around you, giving them a heads-up that you’ll be using an outdoor fire or creating a bonfire will keep those relationships happy. You may want to tell them what day or time you’re planning the fire so they can plan their washing or other plans around it.

“Research what you can burn in your area - Some areas of the country have different guidelines on garden bonfires, so be sure to research what you can burn in your garden before starting your fire.

Avoid windy days - Wind can blow smoke even further from your property, potentially affecting more people in the surrounding area. While you can’t control the weather, consider whether a fire is the best idea by checking the forecast before lighting.

“Create a small bonfire and add to it - Whether you’re burning garden waste or using a fire pit, reduce the level of smoke produced by creating a smaller fire and gradually adding to it, rather than heaping everything on and burning through it as fast as you can.”

In the top fifteen list Chichester was ranked tenth with Stroud being the most likely council area to report a fire complaint, registering 32.01 complaints per 10,000 residents.

In the last 12 months alone, there have been 27,409 smoke or fire reports to councils.

The data suggest that lockdown had a significant impact on our desire to report our neighbours, with the average number of reports almost doubling in 2020/21 and remaining 30% higher in 2021/22.