House with oil tank

Is Your Heating Oil Tank in a Safe Location?

August 22, 2014 | Heating Oil Tanks

The location of your oil tank may not be an issue that keeps you awake at night – in fact, you might never give it a moment’s thought.

It might only be when something goes wrong that you even realise the tank has been positioned in an unsafe location, potentially for many years.

If you’ve moved into a new home that has a tank, or you’ve decided to have one installed, then this is the time to ensure you’re following the safety guidelines.

In some cases, this might mean moving the location of the storage unit. But it could be a decision that pays dividends in the long run, if it helps avoid damage to your property.

Where Should Tanks be Sited?

The Oil Firing Technical Association (OFTEC) has issued guidance on where to position oil tanks, ensuring they comply with fire separation distances.

The purpose is to adequately protect the stored fuel from a fire or heat source that may originate nearby.

Tanks should be sited 1.8m away from any non-fire-rated eaves of a building or structure, and 1.8m away from any openings – such as doors or windows in a fire-rated building or structure.

Additionally, oil tanks should be at least 1.8m away from oil-fired appliance flue terminals, and 760mm away from any non-fire rated boundary such as a wooden boundary fence.

Tanks should also be 600mm away from screening – such as trellis and foliage – that does not form part of the boundary.

It is unlikely that a fire could be started by your oil tank or its contents, but it always pays to take appropriate precautions.

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