There are no byelaws in Teignbridge against having a bonfire, but there are laws against the nuisance they can cause.

If you're bothered by a bonfire we suggest that you try and talk to the person responsible. They may not realise they're causing a problem. If this doesn't resolve the problem or you can't talk to the person responsible, you can report it to us.

If you choose to have a bonfire, please consider the following guidelines:

  • ensure that plastics, rubber, painted materials, plywood and chipboard are not burned as they can give off poisonous chemicals - some of which can cause cancer
  • avoid having a bonfire when the wind is blowing in the direction of your neighbours
  • before lighting a bonfire, consult your neighbours as this will give them time to shut windows and bring washing inside
  • never use petrol, methyl spirits or similar to light the fire

Visit for further information on bonfires. 


Start the journey


More info about the journey

  • your name, address and a contact telephone number
  • accurate details of the source of the problem before we can start an investigation

All complainants' personal details will be treated confidentially, however should the case go to court then your names would have to be released. You would have an opportunity to discuss this with the case officer before the details were released.

Anonymous complaints will not normally be investigated.


We will respond to all incidents within two working days. We will contact both parties and if possible mediate between complainants to provide a solution.

We will monitor the smoke from the bonfire.

If a nuisance is proved, we will take prompt enforcement action.


You can contact your neighbour direct and resolve it between yourselves - how to resolve neighbour disputes.

You can take private action and we would recommend that you contact a solicitor for advice.


When this content has been updated

Last updated 14 August 2018