OFTEC have issued a safety warning to heating oil users, after an oil tank fire ravaged homes in Dunmurry in the early hours of Monday morning.
The fire, which is believed to have started in a shed before spreading to several oil tanks in the area, caused significant damage to three houses in the Belfast town. Over 60 firefighters attended the blaze, which grew after an oil tank ruptured, flooding the area and setting neighbouring tanks alight.
In the wake of the fire, industry body OFTEC has issued advice to homeowners who use heating oil as their main source of fuel.
David Blevings, Ireland Manager at OFTEC said: “Monday’s fire highlights the very real threat of unprotected oil tanks and we are strongly urging householders to review the positioning of their oil tank and if necessary, to take action.
“Oil is a very safe fuel if stored correctly and the best way to protect yourself and others is to make sure your oil tank and any fuel-burning appliances are inspected and serviced by an OFTEC-registered technician at least once a year.”
Protecting Your Oil Tank from Fire
With over 1.5 million heating oil users in the UK, making sure that oil tanks are installed and maintained safely is very important. There are several steps you can take to lower your tank’s fire risk:
- If you are having your tank replaced or are installing a new tank, make sure that you follow local building regulations.
- If your tank is situated closer than the recommended separation distance (1.8m away from any structure), install a fire safety panel with a minimum of 30 minutes of fire-resistance.
- Invest in a bunded tank, to reduce the chance of leaks or spills.
- Make sure your tank is located on a secure base made from a non-combustible material such as concrete or paving stones.
- Have your tank and boiler system checked at least once a year by a qualified, OFTEC-registered engineer.
For more information about how you can protect your oil tank, visit our Oil Tank Inspection Tips post.
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