The Hague - Tips for barbecuing and burning wood in the summer
Een elektrische barbecue als alternatief

Tips for barbecuing and burning wood in the summer

Nearly 50% of The Hague’s residents have a barbecue and 15% have an outdoor fireplace or fire basket. Burning wood and charcoal increases fine particle pollution. To keep the air in The Hague as clean as possible, the municipality is providing tips for clean burning.

Has a wood fire been burning for 1 hour? This produces 5 times as much particle pollution as 1 hour of driving a car in the city. Lighting your outdoor fireplace or fire basket 1 time less already helps to keep The Hague’s air clean.

Health risks

Breathing in fine particles can lead to breathing difficulties and a heart condition. Are you lighting a fire or are you barbecuing in the garden? There are many ways to do this as cleanly as possible. This way you prevent health issues for yourself and your neighbours.

Read more about the health risks of burning wood on the website of the GGD.

Tips for cleaner burning

You can burn wood and barbecue more cleanly using these tips:

  1. Check the direction of the wind before you light the fire and warn the neighbours. They can then close their windows in time.
  2. Use dry firewood for the fire basket. This produces more heat with less smoke and fewer health risks than moist wood. You can recognise dry wood from the loose bark and cracks on the side. You can also check it using a moisture meter.
  3. Produce less smoke using the Swiss method. Light the fire basket or outdoor fireplace from the top using firelighters. This causes less smoke.
  4. Would you like to buy a woodburning stove or a barbecue? There are also electric models. These produce less air pollution while still allowing you to enjoy a fun summer evening.
  5. Would you nevertheless prefer to barbecue using charcoal? But do you live in a densely-populated area? Or is your garden part of an enclosed garden? Go to a public barbecuing spot. The municipality has designated a number of spots in parks for this purpose. You can find more information on the page Barbecuing rules in The Hague.  
    Please note! You are not allowed to burn garden trimmings or waste. Painted or worked wood is never allowed in a fire basket or fireplace. Burning these materials can release a lot of toxic smoke. You risk getting a fine if you do this.

    Report nuisance

    Are you bothered by your neighbours’ smoke? First try to work it out with them yourself. Read what you can do below.

    • Step 1

      Check where the smoke is coming from. It is possible that a number of neighbours are burning wood at the same time.

    • Step 2

      Give your neighbours tips on how to reduce the smoke and tell them about the health risks.

    • Step 3

      Are you not able to reach a solution and are you bothered more often by the smoke? Make a note of the times it has been a nuisance. Ask your neighbours to keep track of when they light a fire. This way you can look together if you are always bothered by the smoke or only in certain weather conditions.

    • Step 4

      Are you unable to agree? If you experience nuisance in a rental apartment, contact the housing corporation. They have the option of asking the Bureau Bemiddeling & Mediation to help come to a solution.

      Do you own your own home or are you renting your home in the commercial market? Contact the municipality’s Domestic Nuisance Complaints Centre.