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Best practice for oil distributors

The aim of all fuel oil distributors is to make timely, safe, clean oil fills into well maintained safe oil
tanks that comply with legal requirements and individual company policies. It is important to know
as much about the tank that is going to be filled and its location as possible.

What tanks may be at risk

Best practice

  • Metal or plastic single skin tanks

  • Tanks over 10 years old

  • Poorly supported tanks

  • Tanks that are poorly located

  • Tanks not fitted to regulations

  • Tanks with signs of bleaching or cracking

  • Metal tanks with signs of rust

Building and environmental

If the tank is near to a drain, bore hole,
river or other watercourse and a pollution
incident would occur if the tank leaked or
was overfilled, the chances are that the
customer needs a bunded tank by law.

  • Integrally bunded (tank within a tank)

  • Top offtake oil supply

  • Contents gauge

  • Overfill prevention device

  • Fitted to building regulations

  • CE marking on plastic tanks

  • Regularly serviced


Oil tanks should be sited in accordance
with building regulations, which protects
then from a fire that may be started
near by. Siting is typically 1.8m from
openings into building and 760mm from
a combustible boundary. If this can’t be
achieved, a fire barrier should have been
erected between the tank and hazard.