At BoilerJuice we spend a lot of time advising our customers about heating oil theft and making sure they maintain their heating oil tanks. However, in recent weeks, the extremely stormy weather we have been experiencing in the UK including flooding and high winds has highlighted the need to make you aware of other potential risks to your oil tank.
Heating Oil Tanks and Flooding
Flooding risk to oil tanks is not something that is discussed frequently but the implications of spillages because of flooding are significant for the householder. In the event of flooding, your heating oil tank may start to float. This can cause pipes attached to the tank to break and lead to spillage. Not only do householders potentially lose their heating oil, they may be faced with a large bill for the clean-up necessary. In view of this, householders should:
- Make sure they have a good level of house insurance that covers not just heating oil loss but also the cost of cleaning up spills (this can run into many thousands of pounds).
- Check the heating oil tank is secured correctly so that, in the event of a flood, it cannot float. This will require work by an OFTEC registered heating oil tank installer.
- Ensure heating oil tanks are not located close to boreholes, wells, springs or watercourses.
- Make sure heating oil tanks are built on suitable supports that will raise the tank above the likely flood level. Note, there may need to be consultation with your local authority regarding planning permission as there are height restrictions in place for oil tanks.
Heating Oil Tanks in High Winds
High winds have also been a feature of the weather in Winter 2013/2014 and, as a result, heating oil users should be aware of the potential risk to their heating oil tanks. Although unlikely, particularly if the tank is full, tanks can be dislodged from their stands by strong winds. Additionally, the tank may be hit by flying objects such as a tree or even a roof tile. Either of these scenarios could result in damage to the tank and leaks occurring. Householders should:
- Make sure there are not any large trees close to the tank that would cause damage if they fell on the tank. If there are, it would be advisable to trim them back or remove them.
- Secure heavy garden ornaments and furniture if high winds are forecast to prevent these hitting the oil tank.
- Have the oil tank secured correctly with strapping. Consult an OFTEC registered engineer to make sure this is installed correctly.
- If the tank is near the home and could be hit by a roof tile, consider some sort of protective cage over the tank to prevent damage in this scenario.
- As with flooding, make sure there is a good level of insurance to cover both loss of heating oil and spill clean-up.
For more information about maintaining and securing heating oil tanks:
- Heating oil tank security
- Domestic oil storage guide
- OFTEC FAQs on heating oil tanks: http://www.oftec.co.uk/consumers/faqs-on-oil-storage-tanks