Advice on Oil Leaks

Most people in the Fermanagh & Omagh District Council area use oil to heat their home.  An oil leak can result in considerable costs and inconvenience to the householder.

A leak of oil in or near your home can give rise to a risk to your health.  Fumes from oil can give symptoms such as:

  • Feeling sleepy/light headed
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Skin rashes
  • Sore throats

Possible Sources of Contamination

  • Accidental fracture of fuel supply pipeline
  • Overfilling of oil storage tank
  • Accidental spillages
  • Faulty installation of new oil fired central heating system
  • Corroded metal domestic oil storage tank
  • Plastic domestic oil storage tank cracked
  • Deterioration of pipeline between domestic storage tank and house
  • Un-serviced Boiler
  • Defective oil filling indicator
  • Vandalism

How to identify a possible leak

  • Solvent or petrol/oil odours inside/outside a property and/or cupboards
  • Visual sightings of a leak i.e. black staining, dead plants/grass, etc.
  • An increase in the rate of fuel being used

What to do if an oil leak occurs

  • Try and find out where the leak is coming from and stop further oil leaking as soon as possible
  • Switch off your oil supply at the tank and, where necessary, arrange to have it emptied
  • Call an Engineer or other competent person to repair/replace the tank or pipework as necessary
  • If a leak is likely to affect a stream or pond, contact the Emergency Oil Care Hotline Number on 0800 807060
  • Never use detergents or a hose to wash the spill away
  • Prevent the spill from entering drains by using earth, sand or commercial absorbents to block its flow
  • Keep your home ventilated by opening windows and doors
  • Contact your household Insurance Company and/or Landlord
  • If there is a smell of oil in your home call the Council’s Environmental Health Department 0300 303 1777 for advice.  You should note, however, that the Council cannot carry out the clean-up; you may need to employ a Specialist Company/Consultant

What NOT to do if an oil leak occurs

  • Do not delay taking action
  • Do not assume the problem will go away
  • Do not drink any water suspected to be contaminated

How to prevent an oil spill

  • Check the condition of your Tank and Boiler on a regular basis
  • Look out for staining and oily smells
  • Become familiar with your normal rate of oil usage
  • Have your heating system serviced by a competent person on a regular basis
  • If possible, supervise any deliveries of oil
  • Do not overfill you oil tank
  • Keep fill points on the tank clear of obstruction and ensure they are tamper proof

It is important to review your Home Insurance Policy or contact your Insurance Company to ensure your Policy covers domestic fuel spills