June 26, 2013

A leak from your home heating oil tank can be extremely hazardous and cause extensive damage to the surrounding environment.

There are a number of steps you can take to prevent a heating oil spill, such as placing a bund around your heating oil tank.

However, if these measures have been put into place and you still find yourself having to deal with a heating oil spill, here are the key steps you can take to begin to deal with it:

Turn off your tap

If possible, and depending on the scale of your oil spill, turn off the tap at your tank to prevent any more oil flowing from the original source.

Seek advice

Seek free, professional advice on what action you should take when a leak occurs by calling the Environment Agency’s 24-hour emergency pollution hotline on 0800 807 060.

Protect surrounding water sources

If your tank is located near to ground water, a river or a drain, lay down earth or sand in the area around your tank in order to absorb the oil and to prevent it from flowing further.

Block the seal

As a temporary solution, soap can be rubbed into the broken seal if you have a plastic heating oil tank.

Don’t attempt to clean up the spill yourself

Using a hose to wash away your leaking oil or detergents may make the spill worse, so it is best to leave the clean up job to the professionals.

Contact your heating oil supplier

Contact your heating oil supplier to see if they are able to remove any fuel from your property that may be likely to leak.

Contact your insurance company

Contact your home insurance company as soon as possible after the oil spill has occurred to inform them of the steps that were taken to address the spill and any damage to your property. You will also need to put in a claim to recoup the cost of your oil.

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