Is it correct that France wants to crackdown on open fires in homes?

Rumours of a proposed ban in 2025 have gained traction on social media

Some towns including Paris and Lyon already have restrictions on open fires
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A rumour suggesting that France is planning a crackdown on open fires in homes (chimney fires) has gained traction on social media. We look at the truth of this and review what rules are already in place.

The rumour of the purported crackdown on open fires started on X (formerly Twitter) on January 2.

A man in the Var (Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur) reported hearing the news of the planned new law from a shop assistant in a fireplace store:

“Leaving the store I just learned a good one: The Ministry of Ecology is considering making homes equipped with an open fire non-insurable as early as January 1, 2025.”

The post on X has been seen more than 200,000 times.

While perhaps far-fetched, people find such a ban credible given the many wide-ranging rules that the government has introduced over recent years in the name of reducing France’s carbon emissions.

Indeed, some of these new laws are just as improbable as making open fires uninsurable, including:

A ban on open fires would appear to be in the same vein, since they are 85% less energy efficient than other wood burning models, according to the French ecological agency Ademe.

‘No knowledge of this project’

However, the authorities have denied all knowledge of such a plan.

“We have never considered making a house fitted with an open fire non-insurable,” the Ministry of Ecological Transition told Le Figaro.

Similarly, the federation of French insurers said it had “no knowledge of this project”.

The only obligations on people with open fires are to declare it to their insurer, to have their chimney swept each year, and- of course- to pay their home insurance at a higher rate.

Where are there restrictions on open fires in France?

Some local authorities have already banned the use of open fires, usually due to concerns about air pollution from PM2.5 particles that can accumulate in large cities.

  • Lyon has imposed a complete ban on open fires since April 2023
  • Paris banned their use as a home’s primary source of heat in 2015. However, open fires are still acceptable as a “decorative” or secondary heat source (in one room for example). New fireplaces must also have the ‘Flamme Verte’ pollution rating.
  • The Arve valley (Haute-Savoie) banned their use in January 2022 due to the accumulation of PM2.5 particles, which add to the pollution from the A40 motorway - and the thousands of diesel lorries- which also traverse the valley

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