Don’t let the change in the weather catch you out!

Coldest winter in 100 years approaches UK, Winter freeze, icicles

It feels like Winter is already here and many people are starting to think about getting their oil delivered ready for winter.

It is also this time of year when the Environment Agency urges people to check their oil tanks to protect the environment and reduce the risk of potentially large financial losses.

Older and single skin oil tanks are most prone to damage in winter, from a combination of day-to-day wear and tear and more particularly the extreme weather conditions. Many homeowners remain unaware of the dangers that are posed by a tank splitting. Not only do such events incur the cost of replacing an oil tank and of course valuable, lost fuel, but the associated environmental clean-up costs are , putting it mildly, an unwelcome consequence.

We recommend you have a look at your tank at least once a month and every time you place an order to have it filled to make sure it isn’t damaged or leaking.

This is why it is vital that oil is only ever stored in tanks that are in good condition. The tank and pipe work should be regularly inspected and people should never buy more oil than they can safely store.

If you currently have an older tank, we would recommend having it checked by an OFTEC registered company and or technician. The technician will be able to give it a thorough look over to check for any signs of rust, leaks or weak spots which can often occur in older single skinned tanks.

Older tanks are typically single skinned meaning they don’t have the added safety of a modern bunded tank.  A bunded tank can limit the number of repairs usually found in older single skin models, help protect the environment and act as a more secure structure for keeping your oil safe from theft.

Older, single skin oil tanks should be replaced with a bunded oil tank. Single skin tanks are a major contributing factor involved in oil spillages. Bunded tanks consist of a ‘tank within a tank’ design. Regulation states the outer tank should hold at least 110% of the inner tank’s liquid volume. This ensures that any oil lost due to an inner tank split is retained and the surrounding environment, protected against spillages.

Paul Rose, CEO of OFTEC, said: “Tanks are often the forgotten part of an oil heating system but it is vitally important their condition is maintained to ensure safe oil storage…..consequences of a spill can be high, causing not only inconvenience and cost to the homeowner, but a serious environmental issue. “Neglecting a tank is clearly false economy and our new ‘Tank Safe’ campaign aims to get across the importance of having a safe, secure and regularly checked tank. Tanks should be inspected by a competent person, such as an OFTEC registered technician, at least once a year or at the time of the boiler service, and we recommend that homeowners check they have adequate home insurance in place to cover the oil tank and its contents.”

Homeowners need to know your oil tank.  It is important to keep a document containing information on your tank manufacturer, tank model, age, warranty information and any relevant contact numbers.

Your oil is a valuable commodity and you need to look after it.