Considerations for domestic heating oil storage

Here at Compass Fuel Oils, we are the UK’s leading provider of fuel oils like red diesel and kerosene, as well as lubricants and greases. And this is our guide to everything you should know about safely storing domestic heating oil.

What are the important considerations for domestic heating oil storage?

There are a number of important considerations to take into account when storing heating oil on your property. These  can be split into three separate and distinct areas:

  • Storage placement
  • Tank maintenance
  • Legal requirements

Where should your domestic heating oil be stored?

Your domestic heating oil needs to be stored in a pace that can meet the following requirements:

  • The storage space is out of direct sunlight
  • The storage space cannot be accessed by children
  • The location of storage is well ventilated
  • Storage containers should be away from roof height
  • Stored in areas where there’s minimal risk of damage by weather, machinery or impact

Your heating oil also cannot be stored inside the home itself, so you will need a designated storage space that can meet the requirements.

Tank maintenance for domestic heating oil

It is essential that the tank you use to store your domestic heating oil meets the following requirements:

  • The tank is clean and has not been used to store other fuels or liquids, preventing contamination and boiler damage
  • The tank can be checked regularly for condensation or water
  • The tank is the right size for the amount of heating oil- the tank should only be up to 85% full at maximum capacity
  • The tank is in good condition- no cracks, dents or damage upon visual inspection

A bunded tank can be the best option for storing your heating oil securely and this is actually legally required when storing more than 2,500 litres.

What are the legal requirements for domestic heating oil storage?

There are also legal requirements for the storing of domestic heating oil. The England control of pollution (oil storage) regulations (2001) state that an oil tank is considered domestic if it has a capacity of 3,500 litres or under and it’s used to heat a domestic building. For most homes this will make the regulations instantly applicable.

  • For storing more than 2,500 litres of heating oil you will need a bunded tank- this is designed to hold up 110% off the maximum capacity of the inner tank, so in the even of a leak, the bunded outer shell will “catch” the oil, preventing an environmental issue.
  • For smaller fuel amounts, a bunded heating oil tank will be required in the following circumstances:
    • where oil spills could run into an open drain or a loose manhole cover
    • where the tank vent pipes cannot be seen when the tank’s being filled, for example because the delivery tanker is parked too far away
    • within 10 metres of coastal waters or inland fresh waters like lakes or streams
    • within 50 metres of a drinking water source, for example wells, boreholes or springs
    • where oil spills could run over hard ground and reach coastal waters, inland fresh waters or a drinking water source

For all your fuel oil needs, from storage tanks to red diesel and heating oil deliveries, we are the team you can count on, here at Compass Fuel Oils.