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Log burner and "fire risk" next door

Guest Jane

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We have a log burner.

About 8 weeks ago our neighbours complained that it's was causing smoke and soot in her loft space. 

She reported us to environmental health who cleared us and said her issue wasn't anything to do with our log burner. 

She still complained so we paid for smoke tests cameras etc which again came back negative. The sweep said that what he believed was happening is that the smoke is exiting our chimney and being "sucked" down hers and she must have bad pointing loose bricks etc where the smoke is existing into her loft space.

But he said being that our chimneys are 4/5m apart and that we don't generate much smoke at all, that it's a long shot but the only thing he can think of. We had the entire chimney stack repointed 5ish years ago inside an out. Our loft space is immaculate but before we did this, it did leak smoke so I'm guessing her brick work is also in poor condition as she doesn't light a fire. So this is a possibility. 

It was noted at this inspection our burner doesn't have a flue. She is now demanding I give her our installation certificate (within 3 hours of the demand) because its illegally installed. 

So we trotted off and spoke to two installers who said it's not legal requirement but recommend and that again they can't understand what's causing her issue. 

Now she is demanding we stop burning fuell because she think an ember will travel through up chimney across 5m of cold air down into her chimney and set her house on fire. Apparently im selfish because I'm putting her families health at risk. I explained to her that even if the burner had a flue installed it's would not stop the issue so I'm not travelling 30 mins to my storage to dig though boxes of paperwork for the installation certificate. I'm also not not burning wood to keep my family warm as one of them has significant health issues recovering from cancer doesn't work and runs the high risk of hospitalisation if she gets cold. Which imo is significant risk versus a highly unlikely risk. She still complained I'm putting my families needs above hers... er course I am! 

Especially as we have yet to establish exactly why this is happening. 

I'm going to speak to the fire brigade and I've rang building control because she simply isn't listening and we still dont have a definite"why". I'm not saying it isn't our burner causing her issues I'm simply saying that we dont know why its happening but It looks like it has nothing I have any control over, other than to not have a fire. 

Does anyone have any other ideas as to why this might be happening? (Other than delusional which is what one installer called her!) 

I also don't have 2k for a flue installation so it looks like we will be reverting back to an open fire. Which won't solve her problem but at least everyone else will be happy! 


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You don’t indicate the age of your property. It is very possible that there is some kind of defect in the lining that is causing leakage into your neighbours roof space. The defect can be relatively small and very difficult to detect but can spill smoke and noxious gas that even in small quantities can be harmful and, at the very least, unpleasant.

In my youth, I remember the smell of sooty smoke in my bedroom when the neighbour lit their fire. The house was over 100 years old. When a major refurbishment was carried out and access was made into the loft, you could see the little puffs of smoke breaking through the dosed pointing in the brickwork which formed part of the neighbour’s chimney construction.

Suggest you engage a professional to fit an appropriate class of liner, and, perhaps, a fan.


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