Oil leaks and fumesLeaks from oil tanks and boilers are inconvenient and expensive.
They are also a risk to public health because they give off fumes which can cause headaches, nausea, skin rashes, sore throats and drowsiness.
Oil leaks are caused by a range of things, including:
- accidental fractures or cracks in the fuel supply pipeline
- overfilled oil storage tanks
- accidental spillages
- poor installation of oil-fired central heating systems
- corrosion of metal domestic oil storage tanks
- cracks in plastic domestic oil storage tanks
- worn out pipelines between domestic storage tanks and nearby houses
- boilers which have not been serviced
- faulty oil-filling indicators
Preventing an oil leak
There are several things you can do to prevent an oil leak in your home, such as:
- checking the condition of your tank and boiler regularly
- watching out for black stains
- keeping a check on how much oil you use
- getting your heating system serviced regularly
- do not overfill your oil tank
- keeping the fill points on your tank clear.
Identifying an oil leakThere are several warning signs that you may have an oil leak.
- a strong smell of solvent, petrol or oil inside or outside your home or in your cupboards
- black stains and dead plants or grass around your tank
- a sudden increase in the amount of fuel you use.
- try to find out where the leak is coming from
- switch off your oil supply at the tank and arrange to have it emptied (if needed)
- arrange for an engineer to repair or replace your tank or pipework
- if the leak could affect a stream, pond or other water supply, call the Emergency Oil Care Hotline on 080 0807 060
- never use detergents or a hose to wash the spill away
- prevent the spill from entering drains by blocking its flow using earth, sand or commercial products that absorb oil
- keep your home well-ventilated by opening windows and doors
- call your household insurance company or landlord and make them aware of the leak
- if there is a strong smell of oil in your home, call our public health team on 028 9027 0428.