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Are Fire Pits Legal in the UK? Rules and Regulations.

Are Fire Pits Legal in the UK?

 

The UK’s weather is notoriously unpredictable, so making the most of your outdoor space can be tricky. If you lack a lot of outdoor space, the weather is unfavourable, or living in a smoke-controlled area, being able to enjoy your garden is difficult. Smoke-controlled areas are widespread in the UK and don’t allow most wood burning appliances, and authorised fuels must be Defra approved and “smokeless”. This is despite the fact that wood burning fire pits are for sale in most garden centres and big box retailers. However, gas, propane and ethanol (biofuel) fire pits that produce little to no smoke are the perfect solution. 

 

Elevated Halo gas and propane fire pit, legal in the UK and smoke controlled areas

 

In England, most of London, Newcastle, Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, Nottingham and Birmingham are smoke-controlled. In Scotland, Edinburgh, Dundee and Glasgow are as well. The smoke-controlled areas in Wales are unclear and would require you to contact your local council, but they do exist and it is important to take note of your local regulations. Northern Ireland is a largely smoke-controlled area, banning wood burning smoke in Belfast and Londonderry. Consequently, wood burning fire pits aren’t legal commercially or residentially in much of the UK. However, making your outdoor space warm, comfortable, and beautiful can still be done! 

Natural gas, propane and ethanol fire pits are legal commercially and residentially in the UK as they are clean-burning appliances that create virtually no smoke. Outdoor fire pits are subject to a few specific safety regulations and generally must meet CE and UKCA certification. However, this won’t be a concern with Solus Decor as all of our appliances are CE, UKCA, ANSI & CSA certified in their entirety (not just the burner). 

UK regulations state that fire pits must maintain a safe distance from combustible materials and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation and positioning. Safety is of utmost importance to us and these rules are simple and easy to follow with gas or propane fire pits. Providing a controlled burn that doesn’t spark, there are no flying embers that often cause unintentional fires and injuries. Additionally, their clean-burning nature and controlled flame allow these fire pits to be used in covered patios (with adequate ventilation), whereas wood burning fire pits cannot.

 

Hemi gas and propane fire pit, legal in the UK

(our fire pits also perfect for covered patios with adequate ventilation)

 

Wood burning fire pits are a well-loved tradition in many British homes. They typically produce more heat, are more portable than other fire pits and are less expensive. However, our clients frequently come to us with complaints of smoke that stings their eyes and the smell it leaves on their clothes and in their hair. Furthermore, wood burning smoke that is considered a nuisance could lead to complaints from neighbours that the local council is obligated to investigate, possibly raising fines (of up to £1000) or rendering your fire pit unusable. Our fire pits, fire bowls and fire tables not only avoid this, but allow heat output to be controlled with little to no storage requirements for fuel such as with kindling and logs. 

Equally, natural gas fire pits require some preparation to be installed as they have to be connected to a natural gas line that should run under your deck or patio. Once installed however, fuel supply isn’t a worry and there are no unsightly pipes or hoses. Propane fire pits also require a connection to a propane tank which UK guidelines suggest should be stored outdoors, in a well ventilated area. This may seem like a hassle that you would rather avoid, but finding firewood storage, wet firewood and maintenance of a wood burning fire pit will require more time and cleaning long-term. A particularly low-maintenance option from Solus are ethanol burning fire pits which don’t require the pipes or hoses that gas and propane do, however we don’t provide this option outside of the UK or EU. 

To summarise, gas, ethanol and  propane fire pits are perfectly legal in the UK and are a modern and clean-burning alternative to your classic wood burning fire pit. Virtually smoke free, safer, and easy to maintain, we believe that they are the best alternative for those that want to make the most of their outdoor space and keep toasty this winter.

 

Fire pits legal in the UK, gas and propane for smoke-controlled areas

 

 

solusdecor.com

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Memorial Garden at Trinity Western University

A scholarship and courtyard renovation honour the life of Jordan Thiessen.

A very special fire pit was installed at the Trinity Western University in British Columbia.

It is in memory of the life of Jordan Thiessen who was a student at the university. During his time at the university Jordan felt that the unloved and uncared for Douglas Courtyard could be a beautiful space. With some planting and a fire pit it would offer a place for students to relax and enjoy on campus.  Something he shared with his parents during a campus visit.

When Jordan sadly lost his life on October 18 2012, just 12 days after he married his university sweetheart, the family wanted to do something in his memory. His parents, Shirley and Carey set up the Jordan Thiessen Memorial Scholarship endowment but they wanted to do more. They recognised the deep impact that the University had on Jordan’s short life. They felt that making over the Douglas courtyard would not only honour Jordan, but it would also benefit all future students. Shirley threw herself into raising funds for both the scholarship and the courtyard project. The Jordan Thiessen Memorial Courtyard was dedicated September 14, 2013. On what would have been Jordan’s 24th birthday.

 

Hemi Fire Pit at Jordan Thiessen Memorial Garden at Trinity Western University

The memorial garden is now a wonderful place for students to enjoy, which gives great pleasure to Jordan’s parents.  If you would like to give to the courtyard project, or to the Jordan Thiessen Memorial Scholarship, please email Shirley Thiessen at shirley.thiessen@twu.ca.

For more information on Solus fire pits and water features please contact us.  TF:44 0208 819 1495 E: info@solusdecor.co.uk W: www.solusdecor.co.uk

 

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Retirement deck renovation features Hemi firebowl on HGTV

Solus Decor is yet again pleased to have the Hemi 36″ firebowl featured on HGTV’s Disaster Decks! In the Deck Anne Hates episode, designer Paul Lafrance helps a retired couple, Anne and Paul, rebuild their 30 year old decaying deck that was becoming not only mossy, but dangerous.

The goal was to build an oasis of a deck that Anne and Paul could enjoy their retirement on. Thus, it would be a no-brainer to include a Solus firebowl that adds an artistic architectural element to any outdoor space.  We think Paul Lafrance did a stunning job making the Hemi firebowl the focal point of this beautifully designed deck, which will now provide warmth and ambiance throughout their golden years.

A LITTLE ABOUT THE HEMI 36″ FIREBOWL

The Hemi firebowl creates an instant gathering place for relaxed conversations, dining atmosphere or backyard campfire marshmallows. (Yes, you can actually roast marshmallows on them!).  In addition to their beauty, they are a wise choice for a deck one has invested in as they are built to withstand the extreme climates of Canadian weather due to them being made of our ultra high performance concrete which is unique to Solus.

ALL SOLUS FIRE PITS ARE CSA CERTIFIED

Unlike many fire pits on the market, all Solus fire pits are CSA certified as appliances (not just burners) to match new regulations in BC, ON and AB.

Enjoy these photos from the Deck Anne Hates episode on HGTV

 

If you’d like more info about the Solus Hemi firebowl for your outdoor space or upcoming renovation, talk with one of our design consultants at 1 877 255 3146 or visit www.solusdecor.co.uk.

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Solus Lighting Up February 2013 Events!

Solus fire pits are helping to light up two fabulous and informative events for design fans in Vancouver and Toronto this month.

Solus with friends at the BC Home and Garden Show:

We can’t wait to see what our friends at Beneath Your Feet Landscaping and Design will come up with this year at the 2013 BC Home and Garden Show. They’ll be using a Solus fire pit in Dream Garden #6, February 20th to 24th at BC Place Stadium.  The design and logistics of just setting up landscape displays at this show alone are impressive.

We loved how they used the Halo Fire Pit in their garden oasis last year.  Here are a couple of photos to from the 2012 show.  Rest assured that if you can’t make the show in person, we’ll be sure to post more shots from this year’s landscape extravaganza!DSC_0054

Solus and Eternit paired up at Designer’s Walk in Toronto, Canada.

Solus concrete fire pits paired with Eternit pressed fiber cement chairs and planters have been a big hit with designers, hospitality venues and home owners alike.  All are on display at the Landmark by Crozier show room at Designer’s Walk Resource Centre in Toronto, where you can view and experience the Solus Hemi 36 Firebowl  in the Eternit setting.

Landmark is holding a lunch and learn presentation about Eternit on February 14th.  Designer’s Walk is located at 148 Bedford Road.    Click here for more information.

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Solus Decor Recycling Series – Part 1 – Concrete Elephants!

Since its inception 16 years ago, Solus has been conscious of its waste stream.

Background

Six years ago, we started to seriously consider our recycling streams and our carbon footprint.  We had conversations with a group at UBC who were just launching a program for companies called Offsetters, a carbon footprint management program.   They came to our plant and gave us some very valuable instructional tips.  This led us into a full on attack on our waste streams.  We had just moved to a larger production facility and built spaces and recycling depositories to accommodate our recycling program.

We found that as we became larger, we started to produce more waste.  Our customer base was also increasing and we began  to ship all over North America.  This was an exciting development, as it allowed us to create even more fabulous concrete products, like our line-up of outdoor fire pit products.

Yikes!  There’s a concrete Elephant in the room!

Having been around for 16 + years, we have literally poured thousands upon thousands of batches and therefore, our approach to production is quite scientific. Our formulas and mathematics when it comes to producing our concrete is accurate within 2%.  We minimize the waste whenever and wherever we can, but even at 2%, it adds up over time!  We had to address this.

It began to feel like the “ elephant” in the room.  And it was made of concrete!

Another use for a concrete Elephant!

After studying our recycling history and the countless recycling depositories, bins, crates, odds and sods that we now have at Solus one of our summer students, Sam, posed an interesting question.   How many concrete elephants (in weight) have we recycled since our program went into place over six years ago?

So this became a project for our fresh faced summer student.  How much concrete has been recycled and what does happen to the contents of the Solus’ recycling bins after they are taken off site? … this is what she found.

When there is any excess or reject concrete at Solus, the concrete gets put into a bin and gets picked up by a 1-800 Got Junk.  They take it to a Sand and Gravel company, and gets broken down.  Recycled concrete is used for a variety of construction purposes.

–         Aggregate base course (road base)

–         Untreated aggregate used as foundation for roadway pavement (under pavement surfacing) forms structural foundation for paving

–         Soil stabilization – the incorporation of recycled aggregate and using it in soil to stabilize and change the water susceptibility

–         Recycled concrete can be used as a foundation to lay on the ground around pipes as, is used as an alternative to virgin aggregate

–         Landscape materials

With 3,500 – 4,000 lbs of concrete recycled every 5-6 weeks, there has been an accumulation of approximately 220,000 lbs of concrete recycled since Solus first started recycling concrete in this manner. An additional 60,000 lbs was recycled when a thorough “house-cleaning” was conducted in 2010, giving us these rather grand totals,

280,000 lbs, or

127,000 kg, or

140 tons of concrete recycled!

To put that in perspective, the African Elephant, one of the largest land animals on Earth, weighs on average 9,500 lbs.

= almost 30 Elephants!

Or a herd of elephants!

All of this concrete was diverted from our local landfill.

Our next blog will talk about all the other waste streams and where they go.

Stay Tuned for Part II on the Solus Recycling Series.

 

Image credit: <a href=’http://www.123rf.com/photo_10883639_cute-little-elephant-cartoon-character.html’>teenbull / 123RF Stock Photo</a>