If you have a home heating oil storage tank, and if you chose a reliable home oil tank installation company it is likely that the safety concerns were taken into account during the installation process.

But it is important to be aware of the regulations to ensure the safety of people, property and surrounding wildlife.

Currently around 1.5 million homes in the UK use kerosene as their primary source of heating fuel and have external oil tank storage on their premises.

What is kerosene?

Kerosene is a highly flammable liquid fuel oil obtained by distilling petroleum, commonly used in jet engines, oil lamps or in domestic heating systems.

Kerosene home heating oil needs to be stored in a tank, which are usually located outside the home. Rules and regulations state that a fuel oil tank must be located:

  • On a platform or stand with at least 300mm around the edge of the tank
  • 8m away from non-fire rated eaves of a building
  • 8m away from a non-fire rated building or structure (e.g., a shed or gazebo).
  • 8m away from the flue terminals of oil-fired appliances
  • 760mm away from a non-fire rated boundary (such as a wooden boundary fence)
  • 600mm away from screening that does not form part of the boundary (such as a decorative trellis or hedge).

Oil tank spillages are rare, but they do happen. They are both damaging to the environment and expensive to clean up, not something you want to happen!

To mitigate the risks to the surrounding environment, there are laws that apply to oil tanks. A bunded oil tank is a special type of oil storage tank which includes a type of ‘second skin’ (a bund). This bund is legally required to hold 110% of the tank’s capacity, and must not let water or oil in or out.

When do I need a bunded oil tank?

You will need to invest in a bunded oil tank if your tank is located in a place where a spillage could pose a serious risk. Examples include if a tank is located:

  • Near a manhole cover
  • Within 10 metres of lakes, streams and any water sources
  • Within 50 metres of a potable water source (such as springs, boreholes or wells).
  • An oil spill could run over hard ground to reach potable water sources, fresh inland water or coastlines.

You’ll also need a bund if your tank can hold more than 3,500 litres of oil in England or if it can hold over 2,500 litres in Scotland.

Western Fuel: Home and commercial fuel oil delivery

We can offer the reliable delivery of heating oil and lubricants for homes, businesses and agricultural use across the South West.

Also, we can also provide boiler servicing and maintenance to ensure your home heating system stays running all year round. Get in touch with our friendly team if you would like to learn more about our services today. Please give us a call on 01278 431451 or email info@westernfuel.co.uk.