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BurnWise Guide

BurnWise Guide

BurnWise Guide

The BurnWise wood smoke management guide has been written to support local governments to manage domestic wood smoke. It includes an overview of the impacts and management of domestic wood smoke, as well as the following three toolkits that can be tailored to suit the resources and needs of local governments in their management of domestic wood smoke.


1. BurnWise Community Education Toolkit

The Community education toolkit includes pamphlets and short films about wood smoke. It is designed to support local government environmental health officers in educating the community on the impacts of wood smoke pollution and how correct wood heater operation can minimise emissions. The resources in the toolkit are also used to support complaints management and smoke patrols (also see BurnWise brochures). 

Important components of this toolkit include the wood heater demonstration trailer and wood moisture meters.


Wood Heater Demonstration Trailer

Wood Heater Demonstration Trailer

The BurnWise wood heater demonstration trailer is designed to show community members how to use wood heaters responsibly and efficiently. Two wood heaters, one which is compliant with AS/NZS 4012: 2014 and AS/NZS 4013: 2014 and a non-compliant wood heater, are used in practical demonstrations to show how to reduce wood smoke through correct wood heater operation.

They also highlight the difference in smoke and heat output between AS/NZS 4012: 2014 and AS/NZS 4013: 2014 compliant and non-compliant wood heaters. In addition, there is an audio visual side of the trailer which provides education through the use of tablet quizzes and a television showing the BurnWise films. Local governments can use the demonstration trailer in partnership with DWER at local events. 

Wood Moisture Meter

Wood Moisture Meter

Wood Moisture Meters

DWER has wood moisture meters available for use by environmental health officers. These meters demonstrate the internal moisture content of wood. Dry, well-seasoned firewood will have an internal moisture content of less than 20 per cent.



2. BurnWise Complaints Management Toolkit

Focusing on education before enforcement, the complaints management toolkit sets out an example process for managing wood smoke complaints and contains reference guides, templates and letters to support complaints management.


3. BurnWise Smoke Patrol Toolkit

The smoke patrol toolkit provides detailed guidance on how to implement a Smoke Patrol Program.


A smoke patrol is a targeted community education program aimed at reducing smoke from domestic wood heaters. It involves visual observations of house chimneys to identify excessively smoky wood heaters. When an excessively smoky chimney is identified, information is provided to assist householders in operating their wood heater more efficiently and effectively.

Smoke patrols focus on education but if a household persistently creates excessive smoke, warnings or infringements can be issued.



DWER is available to support environmental health officers.


DWER is available to support environmental health officers by providing two day workshops in their area to:

  • familiarise officers with all components of the toolkits;
  • provide practical demonstrations of the community education tools; and
  • guide officers through a mock smoke patrol.

BurnWise Program - Evaluation of Workshops in 2015 and 2016

More Information

To enquire about hosting or attending a BurnWise workshop or setting up the wood heater demonstration trailer at a local community event, please contact us or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..