Frequently Asked Questions

Getting a consent to install a solid fuel appliance

There are safety issues associated with any appliance that contains fire, so you will need to apply for a building consent before installing, relocating or substantially replacing a solid fuel heating device.

If you are just maintaining your current appliance, including replacing the firebricks or the flue, you do not need a building consent. Regardless of whether a building consent is required, all work must comply with the Building Code.
You can install an outdoor fireplace without building consent.

Council cannot issue retrospective consents for solid fuel heating appliances that have been installed without a building consent, so please check that you have the right consent before you start work.

If your property has an un-consented solid fuel heating appliance, you will need to apply for a Certificate of Acceptance and provide a Fireplace Safety Inspection report from West City Heating verifying that the appliance is safe to be used and complies with air emission standards.

If you don’t have a consent or Certificate of Compliance there may be insurance implications if there is a fire.

How to Light a Fire

Start with some small twigs and kindling over some bunched up newspaper. It may help to screw newspaper up like sticks.

If you have a log burner place two large pieces of wood on the bottom of the fire. Place newspaper between the two logs and layer the kindling on top of the two larger logs in a crisscrossed pattern. This helps to get more air into the fire and will enable the fire to be easily relit if doesn’t light first time.

Light the fire with some safety matches or a lighter and try to double the size of the fire each time you add to it. Remember that adding too larger pieces of wood to the fire too early may smother the fire.

How do you know if your firewood is dry?

  • Knock two pieces of wood together. If it “rings” rather than “thuds” it is likely to be dry.
  • Look for radial splits at the end of a piece of wood. These are a sure way to identify dry wood.
  • Place a piece of wood on a good fire base. If three sides are burning within 15 mins, the fuel can be considered “dry.”
  • Use a moisture meter, dry fuel is considered from 15-20% moisture content.