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Domestic Heating Oil - Your Responsibility for Storing Oil Safely - Hazkit

Domestic Heating Oil - Your Responsibility for Storing Oil Safely

Domestic heating oil tanks are a common feature in many homes in the UK. They provide a convenient way to store fuel for heating and hot water. However, it is important to be aware of the responsibilities that come with owning and maintaining plastic or metal tanks to protect the environment, your home and your bank balance.
One of the most important, and sadly most commonly neglected, is the responsibility to keep a tank properly maintained. This includes regular inspections to check for leaks and signs of wear and rust (for metal tanks). It is also important to have the tank cleaned regularly to remove any build-up of water, sludge and debris. Heating oil should only be stored in approved tanks that are designed to hold fuel, and be installed by a regulated tank installer. 

Some tips to help store heating oil safely on your property:

  • Keep the tank away from heat and ignition sources
  • Maintain tank level gauges 
  • Only use approved fuel tanks and regulated tank installers
  • Make sure the tank is on a suitable base
  • Inspect the tank regularly for signs of wear or leaks
  • Have the tank cleaned regularly
  • Be aware of the risks associated with heating oil and take steps to prevent spills
Heating oil is flammable and it can cause serious environmental damage if it spills. It is important to take steps to prevent spills, such as keeping the tank and pipework in a safe place, in good condition and making sure that the tank is on an appropriate base (flat, solid and level).
Spill kits and leak prevention can be helpful to keep on hand to help stop the spread of a leak or spill at your home whilst you call for professional support.
These are specially designed hydrocarbon absorbents that act fast, to soak up leaked oil to help prevent contaminating the environment.

Keep this all-in-one Oil and Fuel kit at home:

It has been known for home insurance companies to refuse cover the event of a spill claim if tanks are not well maintained or not installed correctly. 
If a spill does occur, take action immediately to prevent it spreading and call for professional help to clean it up.
Spilled heating oil can contaminate property, soil and water, and it can also be a fire hazard. Home owners can be held responsible for environmental damage if their equipment fails and the clean up costs are often in the thousands £££. 

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In 2019, a family in the UK was forced to evacuate their home after the tank in the basement of their house had developed a leak, spilling kerosene into the foundations. It had not been inspected or checked for a long time and overfilling had put additional pressure on the plastic, leading to it splitting. The spill caused extensive damage to the home, and the family was forced to live in temporary accommodation for months while the damage was repaired.

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