Oil Tank Safety
If you use heating oil to keep warm, then your tank is a fixture in your garden. Below is a quick guide of what to look out for and how to deal with any potential issues with your tank.
Take a look at your tank and it’s surroundings once a week. You’re looking for signs of corrosion or damage. If you see dark patches of soil, dying vegetation or smell an unusual odour it could indicate a leak.
Do you know where your shutoff valve is? It’s worthwhile finding out, so you can shut off your supply in an emergency.
When you’re getting your annual boiler service ask for a tank inspection too. OFTEC recommend that you get your tank inspected once a year
Unfortunately, fuel theft is becoming increasingly common. To prevent this from happening, you can add the following:
- Tank lock (particularly one that can’t be cut with boltcutters)
- Tank level gauge
- Motion sensing security lights
Did you know that most household insurance doesn’t cover heating oil tanks? The Environmental Agency recommends every heating oil customer takes out insurance to cover their oil tank.
When you’re comparing policies, make sure yours covers:
- Loss of oil
- Environmental cleanup
- Cost of cleanup on your property
- Enough liability to pay for cleanup of neighbouring land
Firstly stop it spreading further by turning off your shutoff valve and contacting your local heating oil supplier or tank manufacturer.
Small spill: Rubbing soap on a small crack can temporarily seal the crack while you deal with the spill. Clay based sealing putty can also seal the crack.
If you have a spill kit then they can help you deal with it. If not and the spill has occurred on a hard, non-porous surface (like asphalt) then use dry cloths and kitty litter.
Once the majority of the oil has been absorbed, use gloves and a shovel and put the material in a sealed bin bag.
Professional advice: The Environment Agency and your insurance company will advise you on the best course of action for the clean-up.
If your plastic tank has a hole or crack then you will normally need a new tank. HeatingOil.co.uk has teamed up with some of the biggest tank suppliers, so why not ask for a quote for your next tank online. It’s simple!
- Don’t use naked flames, smoke or create sparks near your tank, even when it’s not in use
- Don’t inhale the fumes when inspecting or checking a tank
- If you come into contact with oil, wash your skin or clothing immediately
- Never check the contents of your tank by hitting or rocking it
- For more information, OFTEC have produced a helpful PDF on oil tanks. Keep up to date with the latest advice on our blog