Winter heating - keep warm safely

Do you rely on a fireplace or multi burner for heating in the winter or are you looking at purchasing a property with one? If your answer is yes, there are fuel and heating regulations you need to be aware of.

Home heating

The Southland Regional Air Plan prohibits wet wood, chemically treated timber (such as fence posts and some building materials), painted and varnished timber and synthetics including plastics from being burnt. Burning treated wood exposes you and your family to dangerous chemicals.

Firewood Storage

  • Store firewood in a dry place with the top covered.
  • Stack wood loosely off the ground, ideally to allow air to circulate.


Be aware of ‘roadside supply’. If you choose to purchase firewood from a ‘side of the road’ source, you may get caught out with a green load. When wood is difficult to burn, it does not produce as much heat as dry wood, it will be extremely smoky, reducing cost effectiveness and will clog your flue with creosote, and become dangerous quite quickly.


Keep your chimney clean. If kept clean, this will help prevent chimney fires, and help your wood burner run more efficiently. Chimney fires are caused by a build-up of creosote in chimneys when wet wood is burnt or wood is burnt at low temperatures. A chimney fire can quickly lead to a house fire.

Non-approved burners

Non approved burners are being phased out and any burners installed prior to 1 January 1997 can no longer be used and will need to be replaced with an alternative heat source or an approved burner.