The Best Locations for Your Domestic Oil Tank

There are a few important factors to consider when trying to find the right domestic oil tank location.

Firstly, there are strict OFTEC and building regulations. You will also want to bear in mind how easy it is to access your tank. You might also want to plan for how your tank will look, and whether you will need to try and disguise it.

Find out how to choose the ideal location for your domestic oil tank with our helpful guide. 

Domestic Oil Tank Regulations

When choosing a location to install an oil tank, you need to consider oil tank location regulations. Trade organisation OFTEC provides strict guidelines which you follow in order for your oil tank to be legal. These rules apply to domestic liquid fuel storage up to 3,500 litres:

  • 1.8m away from non-fire rated eaves of a building
  • 1.8m away from a non-fire rated building or structure (e.g. garden sheds)
  • 1.8m away from openings (such as doors or windows) in a fire rated building or structure (e.g. brick-built house/garage)
  • 1.8m away from liquid fuel appliance flue terminals
  • 760mm away from a non-fire rated boundary, such as a wooden boundary fence
  • 600mm away from screening (e.g. trellis and foliage) that does not form part of the boundary.

Where Should An Oil Tank Be Placed?

Ideally, the area should be well-drained and the ground conditions solid and level. You also should consider the following points before making your mind up: 

1. Safety

Even though it is unlikely your tank will cause a fire, your number one priority should be to take precautions and reduce the risk. 

The OFTEC guidelines should influence your decision making first and foremost. If you are not able to secure your tank at the recommended distances, you will need to place a protective barrier around the tank. This should be one that will last at least 30 minutes in the event of a fire. 

2.Ease of Access

Think of whether your tank is in a good location for oil deliveries. Will drivers be able to reach your tank to refill it? Can they feed the hose from their truck to your tank? 

If the answer is no, it may be best to consider a different position of the oil tank and make life easier for everyone. 

3.Ease of Maintenance

Your oil tank should have regular checks from an OFTEC-qualified engineer. It is also a good idea to keep it clear of debris. You should also inspect it for cracks, bulges or oil spots too.

To do this, you will need ease of access and clear visibility. Make sure there is enough room to get a clear view on all sides. 

If you install your tank in a hard to reach space, you might need additional access equipment (such as a crane) for maintenance or repairs down the line. 

Learn more about domestic heating oil tank cleaning for optimal performance.

4.Impact of Weather

Make sure your tank is away from guttering and pools of rainwater. This will minimise the risk of corrosion and can extend the life expectancy of your tank. 

Similarly, try not to position your tank flush against a wall either. This can allow leaves and debris to collect behind it, causing rust and decay. If you have a plastic oil tank this will be less of a concern, but is still worth bearing in mind. 


You might be concerned about how your oil tank looks and whether it will spoil the surroundings.

Mesh screens or trellis are great for hiding your tank, or you could completely conceal it behind a fence. Be sure to leave a space of at least 600mm between the tank and any form of screening for safety.

For a more natural look, planting large shrubs or climbing plants with a trellis will soften the outline and make a pleasant feature instead. However, you should always make sure the tank is still easily accessible for maintenance and refuelling.

Can I Place a Heating Oil Tank Indoors?

Storing your tank indoors means you don’t have to worry about exposing it to the elements.  Another benefit is that your tanks are more protected from vandalism and theft.

However, you must have a large enough room to store it safely. You must also include a support base with a drip tray to prevent a potential oil spill. 

Making the right choice has the potential to help extend your tank’s lifespan as well as keeping your home and family safe. But if you have any questions, the experts at Certas are ready to help. 

At Certas Energy, we offer a wide selection of domestic oil tanks in all shapes and sizes. Plus, we provide flexible payment plans to cover oil storage tank costs so you stay on budget.

Learn all about our domestic oil tank installation, maintenance and replacement services.

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