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How to look after your oil tank

9th April 2014 All News and Offers

Getting to know your home heating oil tankOil is a valuable fuel; it’s important to store and use it responsibly to protect your health and safety and to reduce the risk of pollution. Make sure you know which legislation applies to your tank. See Page 14 on this downloadable brochure from the Environment Agency

It’s important you know what type of tank and pipework arrangement you have and how to use it. Your tank manufacturer, installer, maintenance engineer may be able to help you. we will also report to you if we see any noticeable issues.

The following are things you need to do when your tank is newly installed or you become the owner.

Make sure:

  • The tank is clearly labelled with the fuel type it contains and an Oil Care sticker, which tells you what to do if you have an oil leak or spill. Contact the Environment Agency for a replacement if you don’t have one
  • All valves are labelled so everyone knows what they control
  • You know the tank capacity, and how to use its contents measuring system and the information it gives you
  • You know how to isolate the tank to stop the oil flow if there’s a leak in the pipework or valve
  • You know if any of your pipework runs underground and where it runs.

Keep the access to and around your tank clear at all times for safe deliveries, maintenance and inspection. Avoid having to cross uneven, slippery or muddy ground to get to and around the tank.


  • Let plants grow around or too close to the tank
  • Camouflage the tank, for instance by growing tall plants or fitting fences and trellises too close to it. There must be room for someone to walk round next to the tank. Screening should be at least 600mm/2 feet away from the tank.
  • Make any changes to the site that could hamper delivery tanker parking, hose routing, ladder positioning, delivery, inspection or maintenance.

The oil in your tank is valuable; you should consider taking appropriate security measures to prevent its theft, or unauthorised use, by providing suitable locks and/or lockable valves where necessary and then ensuring that they are used. This may be a legal requirement for some tanks. Don’t forget to provide the keys/combinations for these devices when a delivery is expected and you may not be present.

Different sets of legislation cover oil storage systems depending on where your tank is; all are designed to reduce risk and ensure the health and safety of people around them.

Oil-fired equipment must be installed and maintained correctly for performance and safety. Use a competent person for any work your tank and connected systems may need. A competent person is trained and qualified to offer advice, guidance and can, for example, self-certify their work.

For your home heating oil deliveries, we offer a prepayment or direct debit scheme and have a smart meter system to sense when the tank needs filling so you don’t have to worry about running low on fuel. For more information on this and advice on looking after your oil tank please contact your local depot.