The Tank Safe Campaign – encouraging responsible ownership

Mon, Mar 9, 2015

During the last two years, 75% of confirmed oil pollution incidents were at domestic properties. Therefore the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) decided to join forces with OFTEC and launched a campaign on oil tank safety awareness for Northern Ireland householders.

The partnership seeks to ensure that customers are provided with the right advice and information on best practice, as well as details on how to ensure tanks are compliant with current legislative requirements.

The campaign’s objectives are – to raise awareness of the vulnerability of tanks older than 20 years; encourage regular visual inspection by owners; and promote annual servicing of oil tanks and associated related ancillary equipment by accredited professionals.

Tank Safe Campaign

The Northern Ireland environment minister Mark H Durkan is backing the campaign and has said: “The campaign strives to encourage responsible ownership and storage of oil at domestic, agricultural, and commercial premises by raising awareness of simple measures to prevent loss of product and thus avoid the need for expensive remediation.

David Blevings, OFTEC Ireland manager said: “Plastic oil tanks provide safe and sound storage for home heating oil throughout the year. Like all products, they have a definitive lifespan and the aim of our joint campaign with NIEA is to remind householders that oil tanks should be installed and serviced appropriately.”

CTS know that properties using heating oil can have a few issues and therefore believe this campaign is really important and vital to help encourage responsible ownership.

We believe there are three main problems: The first, that there are quite a few environmental issues with having a heating oil tank; the second, that there are legal requirements surrounding oil storage; and finally that there is a lot of information you need to know about heating oil and how it is stored.

Following the above issues, CTS decided to put together the Oil Tank Pack which we would encourage all home owners who use heating oil to read.

The Oil Tank Pack is a ‘must read’ and has everything a homeowner would need to know about having a heating oil tank, including:

• The basic information you need to know about your tank

• The legal requirements of having a tank

• Inspecting your tank, its surroundings and things to look out for

• Ensuring your oil tank is secured against theft

• Picking your oil supplier, ordering oil and getting it delivered

• What to do should you have an oil spill

• Servicing and repairing your oil tank

• How to maximise your energy efficiency

• Useful contacts and resources

We urge homeowners with heating oil tanks to read the Oil Tank Pack, and following the Tank Safe campaign to take specific notice of the sections regarding ensuring your tank meets legal requirements (page 5), inspecting your tank and its surroundings (page 7) and dealing with an oil spill (page 13). After reading these sections you should be able to know what to look out for when inspecting your tank and its components for potential weak spots or existing leaks, and the do's and don'ts of what to do in the event of an oil spill.