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A guide to carefully storing oil at home or at your business

If you use oil to heat your home in Ireland, you’ll keep it in an oil tank close to your property. This sounds simple enough, but there are some additional factors you need to consider so that you keep it stored safely, and especially if you use it to heat your business and store it at premises. Following this guide to carefully storing oil will not only protect the money you’ve spent on home heating oil, but is likely to cause you less grief in the long term by making sure you’re doing it right.

Know your regulations

When you store oil at home for purely domestic use in Ireland, it’ll likely be in an oil tank in your garden somewhere, and under 1000 litre capacity. This doesn’t always apply to businesses however, where capacities can be much larger. It’s important to check out the regulations that apply to your business and you can find out more information here.  The majority of pollution incidents in Ireland are caused by oil spills, and are mostly caused by inadequate storage and poor maintenance. Remember – you’re responsible for any pollution problems caused by your oil tank storage, so it’s vital that you get it right.

Finding the right place to install

When you’re getting an oil tank installed, make sure it’s in a safe place, especially if it’s above ground level. Could an oil spill run into an open drain or to a loose fitting manhole cover? Is it within 10 metres of coastal waters or inland fresh waters? Is it within 50 metres of a drinking water source, like a well or a spring? You should carefully consider these questions before you install a new tank. For businesses and farms there are additional considerations, so make sure you talk to a professional before deciding the location of your oil tank.

Get the right tank

All tanks need to be bunded, which means that your oil tank has an outer case that surrounds it completely in order to catch any leaks or spills. This safeguard can protect your home, or business as well as local wildlife should the tank leak. Some oil tanks come with this already present (integrally bunded), and the minimum legal capacity of this is 110% of the size of the tank.

Keep it secure

The final advice in this guide to storing oil is to keep it safe once you’ve got it. Invest in a tank lock or a tank alarm to deter any thieves – fuel theft in rural parts of Ireland is very real, and very dangerous so don’t be a victim of it. For businesses with bigger quantities to store, there is obviously more inconvenience and cost to replace any heating oil stolen, so it may also be worth investing in a security system and lights that are activated by movement around the tank to make thieves think twice before they risk targeting you.