Domestic Wood Heaters

Wood smoke can significantly affect neighbours who suffer from respiratory illnesses, as well as young children and the elderly. It can also cause a nuisance to neighbours by preventing them from using outdoor areas, or causing washing on the line to smell of smoke.

Wood smoke from domestic wood heaters

Following are tips on correctly using your domestic wood heater:

  • Ensure wood is dry: The moisture content of the wood you are purchasing must be below 20% and the retailer should have a moisture meter to show you how dry the wood is. Purchasing wood in summer or early winter will mean it has low moisture content. Wood should be stored in a well-ventilated, undercover area. Using dry wood gives you more heat for your dollar.
  • Ensure your fire is burning hot before adding larger logs: Use paper and kindling to get the fire burning hot and bright before adding larger logs in order to minimise smoke when lighting a fire.
  • Maintain adequate air flow: Open the flue and leave the air control on full. Allow full air for 15-20 minutes after reloading, and either let the fire burn out overnight or leave the air supply open a little to avoid excessive smoke.
  • Keep your chimney clean: Check your chimney occasionally to monitor the amount of smoke emissions and have your flue cleaned at least once a year.

Wood smoke from backyard barbeques, chimineas and outdoor pizza ovens

Backyard barbeques, chimineas, outdoor pizza ovens and other outdoor fireplaces should be operated so they do not produce any smoke.

The amount of smoke that your outdoor fireplace emits can be minimised by:
  • Using plenty of kindling and newspaper to quickly establish a bright fire
  • Adding logs gradually to a bright hot fire
  • Only burning dry fire wood that has been seasoned for at least one–two years.

More information and contact

For more information contact the Department of Water and Environment Regulation or the Australian Home Heating Association for more information.

Please contact the City to report an issue or make a complaint.



City of Cockburn
Whadjuk Boodja
9 Coleville Crescent,
Spearwood 6163

PO Box 1215, Bibra Lake DC,
Western Australia, 6965

Office opening hours:
8.30am to 4.30pm
Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays)

Language Support

Cockburn Nyungar moort Beeliar boodja-k kaadadjiny. Koora, yeyi, benang baalap nidja boodja-k kaaradjiny.
Ngalak kaadatj dayin boodja, kep wer malayin. Ngalak kaadatj koora koora wer yeyi ngalang birdiya.

City of Cockburn acknowledges the Nyungar people of Beeliar boodja. Long ago, now and in the future they care for country.
We acknowledge a continuing connection to land, waters and culture and pay our respects to the Elders, past, present and emerging.