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Protection of the environment and property is vital, although oil is an intrinsically safe fuel. Oil tank inspections allows us to assess the environmental and fire risks associated with Domestic and commercial fuel storage facilities. Tank inspections should be used prior to any installation work commencing or to identify and record risks regarding existing system.
For domestic properties with a capacity not greater than 3,500 litres British Standard BS5410 part1 applies and non-domestic premises British Standard BS5410 part 2applies to oil tank installations. Every installation will have special features, and they must be assessed on each occasion as to their likely effect on both the risk of spillage and risk of spread of fire to the contained fuel.
As a trusted provider of heating oil tank installation and maintenance, Forecourt Installation Services is registered with the Oil Firing Technical Association (OFTEC), and every single one of our engineers is trained to OFTEC 10-600A for our oil tank installations. OFTEC accreditation is an important qualification to check for if you’re purchasing a heating oil system or changing your current tank, or even if you’ve moved to a property and inherited a system.
A registered OFTEC engineer will aid you in selecting the type of tank that you need and more importantly, will help you to determine where the oil tank needs to be placed for it to be within UK safety and regulations. OFTEC regulations help to mitigate environmental and fire risks - OFTEC certified technicians will ensure that your tank meets them, as well as ensuring that its placement complies with building regulations.
Safe service doesn’t end with installation though, as you should have your oil tank inspected each year by an OFTEC certified technician to make sure that the system is in good working order. Getting the tank checked regularly will mean that any potential problems are spotted early on, which could save a considerable amount of money and effort in the future. It is particularly important to arrange an inspection if you’ve recently moved to a property with a heating oil tank. You don’t want to end up paying the price for the previous owner’s poor choice of tank, or their neglect of proper inspections.
Domestic Oil Tank location
It's highly unlikely that a fire could be started by a domestic oil tank and its oil contents. However, tanks are required to comply with fire separation distances in order to adequately protect the stored fuel from a fire or heat source, that may originate nearby.
Tanks should be sited:
- 1.8m away from non-fire rated eaves of a building
- 1.8m away from a non-fire rated building or structure (e.g. garden sheds)
- 1.8m away from openings (such as doors or windows) in a fire rated building or structure (e.g. brick built house/garage)
- 1.8m away from oil fired appliance flue terminals
- 760mm away from a non-fire rated boundary such as a wooden boundary fence
- 600mm away from screening (e.g. trellis and foliage) that does not form part of the boundary.
If it is not possible to comply with these requirements, then a fire barrier with at least 30 minutes fire rating should be provided. A minimum separation distance of 100 mm is required between the tank and fire rated barrier unless a larger distance is specified by the tank manufacturer.
Commercial Oil Tanks
Externally sited commercial oil storage tanks should comply with the requirements laid out in the fire regulations of 2 m for for capacity up to 3,500 capacity and 6 m for capacities over 3,500 litres. Where these separation distances cannot be achieved, a fire wall must be provided between the tank and the hazard (either a building or boundary) in accordance with the specifications. Additionally, where a tank contains more than 3500 litres any openings in the walls between 1.8 and 6 m away from the tank should be fitted with 1 hour fire resisting glass or 1 hour fire resisting self-closing doors.