3 things to consider before storing fuel

Did you know that oil spillage incidents from incorrectly storing fuel is one of the most common culprits for pollution incidents every year?

Oil can be extremely harmful to the environment as it can destroy natural habitats and harm marine life and plants. This is why it is essential that you follow the set regulations in place to ensure safe storage.

In this article, we’re going to explain the three things to consider before storing fuel, so you are aware of what is safe and legal when it comes to fuel storage at home.

Rix only encourages storing fuel at home when:

1. A full fuel storage risk assessment is undertaken

You must ensure that any fuel and oil (including ) when stored is kept out of direct sunlight, out of reach of any children and is only filled up to 85%. This needs to be done to allow room for expansion and avoid any spillage.

What's more, a container which is now empty and previously held fuel or oils may be unsafe if any substance remains. Therefore, it is just as important to withhold the same safety regulations around containers that are empty.

The most reliable and secure way on the market to store your container tanks is in a bund. This is because the bund acts as an outer shell that protects the plastic tank from fire and splits. Rix provides robust bunded oil tanks that are suitable for both domestic and light commercial installations. The tanks are fully secure and bunded with a lockable lid, unique inner spill tray design and fittings kit.

It is also important that your tank is checked regularly as it is very common for tanks to contain traces of water due to condensation eventually. Water can be extremely harmful to your fuel storage tan because if temperatures drop, pipework can become blocked and cause detrimental damage.

Rix fuel storage tank health checks include:

  • Examination of tank condition
  • Dip for the presence of water
  • Anti-bug treatment
  • Water absorbing tank dryer fitting
  • Removal of any water
  • Replacing of sight tubing on the gauge
  • Fitting of electronic contents gauge

2. Any fuel that is stored is done so in the correct container as outlined by Law

(The Petroleum Spirit Regulations 1929 & The Petroleum Spirit Plastic Container Regulations 1982)

You can store up to 30 litres of fuel without having to inform your local petroleum enforcement authority (PEA).

Different containers are required by law depending on how much oil you store:

  • Up to 10 litres – plastic container
  • Up to 20 litres – metal container
  • Up to 30 litres – demountable fuel tank

If you wish to store over 30 litres but less than 275, it is vital that you write a letter to your local Petroleum Enforcement Authority immediately. Make sure you include your full name, home address and storage location.

Storing fuel

You can store up to store less than 275 litres of fuel in:

  • Suitable plastic containers
  • Portable metal containers
  • Demountable fuel tanks
  • And a combination of the options above, so long as you keep to the maximum limit of 275 litres.

Be aware that you should never put or keep petroleum in unsuitable containers. This is because petroleum can dissolve some plastic containers. Therefore, always ensure that you are using an approved plastic container that is properly marked or a secure metal container. Metal containers should be made out of aluminium or steel sheet with sufficient thickness in relation to the container's capacity and its intended purpose.

What's more, ensure that all of your containers are labelled clearly with the correct symbols and the words' PETROLEUM' and 'HIGHLY FLAMMABLE'. It is your responsibility as the owner of the containers that individuals are aware of their hazardous contents to avoid any dangerous situations.

Storing fuel over 275 litres and up to 3500 litres:

To store up to 3500 litres, you will need to gain a petroleum storage certificate and licence. Please contact your local PEA for more information regarding this.

3. Under no circumstances should the fuel be stored in the home itself

Petroleum is not to be taken into anywhere where people live (for example, house, flat, etc.). Your fuel must be stored in the open air. However, if this is not possible, then the containers need to be stored in a well-ventilated location. Also, your container needs to be stored away from sources of ignition such as heaters or any electrical equipment that are at risk of combustion.

Here are some more tips on storing fuel safely in your container:

  • Avoid storing fuel in areas that are at risk of flooding
  • Store containers away from roof height
  • Store in areas where there's minimal risk of damage by weather, machinery or impact
  • Ensure your containers are 10 metres clear of coastal waters
  • Make sure your containers are 50 metres clear of a spring

Rix Services

Rix provides tank replacement and servicing to ensure your fuel storage is protected and maintained. If you wish to know more about storing fuel or tank health checks, please contact us by filling in the form below or by speaking to your local depot directly.