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How to look after your home heating oil during a flood

The weather in Ireland has always been a source of humour, however recently the never-ending deluge of rain and saturated grounds have led to dangerous amounts of flooding, which is certainly no joke. We spend a lot of time protecting our homes and when we’re at risk of flooding, our first instinct is to move everything to higher ground and save what we can, but all too often thinking of how to look after our home heating oil during a flood is far from our minds.

It makes sense to give this issue some thought however, as the rain doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon and because of the dangers an oil leak can cause, even a domestic spill. Contamination of nearby buildings, risk of explosions and destruction of local wildlife are all factors of concern, not to mention wasting your hard earned money buying fuel that you can’t use. This short guide will outline some simple ways of how to look after your home heating oil during a flood.

If your tank is likely to be affected by rising flood water or high winds which could cause it to move, you should try to minimise this with a tank restraint or a strap to secure the tank to the base.  It is possible to use 20mm galvanised ‘builder’s band’ evenly spaced over the tank and securely fixed to the tank base, however you should talk to your tank manufacturer first for advice on securing your home heating oil tank safely.

Check your tank thoroughly for cracks and breaks especially around the supply pipes and the seals, to make sure that no rainwater can enter the tank. Water inside the tank during the winter can freeze and cause a blockage in your pipes which could in turn lead to an interruption in your heating oil supply. Having water in your tank is also bad news for your heating system in general, and can be costly to diagnose and repair.

If you can, you could consider moving your oil tank to a safer location in your garden, if you know that it’s in a risky position. When it’s being installed, you can ask to have it installed on a raised platform above the maximum predicted flood level so that should the worst happen, you know that your heating oil is safe.