Health & Safety For Your Home Heating
While oil-fired boilers are considered an extremely safe way to heat your home, they need regular servicing in order to keep them that way.
That’s why we recommend that you get an annual service from one of our OFTEC-registered engineers, and also have a CO Detector fitted to protect you against the possibility of Carbon Monoxide poisoning. You can arrange both of these things by calling us on 0345 600 4040
It’s also important that, in the first instance, you make sure your oil tank is compliant with the law in your part of the country, and also that you know what to do in the event of a spill.
If you have any concerns about your storage tank, feel free to call us for advice on 0345 600 4040, or follow the link to your country’s environmental regulators using the links below.
For England – https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/environment-agency
For Scotland – www.sepa.org.uk
For Wales – www.naturalresources.wales
In the event of a leak or spill
You should also call us if the leak or spill occurred after a delivery or boiler service, or call 0800 80 70 60 to reach spill teams of Environment Agencies, SEPA and Natural Resources Wales. Please also note that you should never use detergents or a hosepipe to wash away spilt oil.
• your heating oil tank is leaking
• your pipe work is leaking
• you can smell oil after a delivery
• there has been an oil or fuel spill of any kind
Learning More About Your Heating Oil Tank
If you would like to know more about the care and maintenance of your heating oil tank, particularly with a view to reducing its environmental impact, you will find a lot of useful information online by following these links:
Ensuring Safe Heating Oil Deliveries
Our delivery drivers are all highly trained and firmly focused on safety, so whenever they deliver to your home, they are the legally designated ‘competent person’ who takes responsibility for the safety of every delivery.
However, there are a few golden rules and important facts that you need to bear in mind to help them ensure your deliveries are all made in absolute safety.
Access and Egress
Customers have a legal duty to provide safe access and egress both for vehicles and people to enable our drivers to carry out their tasks safely.
So before any delivery is made we will always ask for information about approach to site, vehicle restrictions, driver reporting on arrival, pedestrian safety, vehicle reversing arrangements and access to the tank/delivery point.
Deliveries through ‘Living Quarters’
Due to the serious environmental impact if a delivery hose was to burst in living quarters, no deliveries may be made through any living space, which are defined as any area, room or passageway which has been closed off, plastered, decorated, carpeted, tiled, furnished etc. which forms an integral part of the regular living area of the property, including conservatories.
Fuel Deliveries at Height – Use of Ladders
Where height is an issue, propping a ladder against a fuel tank is not always a safe option. Our drivers may use one at their own discretion; but a fixed ladder is a safer option, with safety hoops if it is higher than 2m and guard rails on any working platform.
Drivers will only use their Certas Energy tanker portable ladder if other methods of delivery and safe access as above are not readily available, and our drivers will not climb any ladder in excess of 3m above ground level.
Condition of Tank and Receiving Equipment
Drivers must check that the receiving tank and equipment is suitable for the delivery to be made. Where this isn’t possible at a domestic site, deliveries will not be made under any circumstances.
Our drivers will always ensure there is sufficient ullage in the tank prior to commencing delivery. Ullage checks can be made using: tank gauge, physical dipping of a tank, a remote sensor or a similar device. Drivers may also deliver an initial test quantity to confirm tank gauge operation, and if this is in any doubt, the delivery may not go ahead.
Where the ullage cannot be established prior to the delivery, no delivery will be made under any circumstances at domestic premises. Tanks will not be filled beyond their marked Safe Working Capacity (SWP) or 95% of the tank capacity if SWP is not marked.
Blind Fills and Offset Fills
A ‘Blind Fill’ is defined as a delivery where the tank cannot be seen from the delivery point. This will only be permitted where our driver has a means by which to determining ullage, monitor tank filling by tank gauge, physical dipping of tank, remote sensor or similar device, and an overspill alarm* is fitted.
An ‘Offset Fill’ is defined as a pipe/valve arrangement that is connected to the tank to enable filling from a remote point and/or if the tank is at height to enable filling from ground level.
In these cases, customers must provide instructions and labelling for the driver at the delivery point. Drivers will also check that any offset fill is permanently connected to the receiving tank.
Drivers must also check that the overspill alarm is operational before commencing delivery.
Underground Storage Tanks
The Environment Agency has stated that underground oil storage tanks cause a large percentage of groundwater pollution incidents. This may be caused by spillage due to insufficient ullage, or tank failure due to the condition and pressurisation of underground lines and tanks.
Underground tanks should be filled using gravity bulk hose wherever possible.
Where gravity fill is not possible, drivers must check ullage, check that the tank is suitably vented and fill on slow speed using hose reel drop pipe. Where the tank is suitably vented and slow speed filling is used, a fixed connection may be used. A site-specific risk assessment must be completed by Certas Energy prior to the delivery visit if the only option is via hose reel fixed connection.
Domestic underground tanks
We must confirm that a domestic underground tank is in a safe condition before any delivery can made. This must be confirmed as follows:
Plastic underground tanks
It must be established the tank is suitable for purpose and has been correctly installed.
See Delivery Standards – FAQs for further info
Manufacturers recommend that the expected life of fittings on an underground tank is 30 years. Where a tank is approaching this age, customers are advised to seek advice from an OFTEC-registered tank installer.
Metal underground tanks
A metal underground tank must have had a satisfactory pressure test within the last three years.
Barrel Filling/Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBCs)
Filling barrels at customer sites is not permitted.
It is permissible to fill IBCs providing they are: properly supported; at ground level; sufficiently vented; preferably contained in suitable bund; and the IBC outlet valve is closed and locked.
An IBC is not suitable for use as a heating oil tank and will not be delivered to at domestic premises.
Mobile Plant and Equipment
We are not able to fill mobile plant fuel tanks. Customers must have a suitable mobile bowser or tank for this purpose. Larger plant with independent storage – other than day tanks – will be assessed to ensure adequate access, venting, ullage and/or gauging to enable safe delivery prior to commencing delivery.
Generators and other plant fitted with integral fuel tanks, and which produce heat and/or possible ignition sources, must be switched off before delivery is permitted.
Due to the risks of injury to drivers gaining access and the environmental impact of spillages into water, Certas Energy is unable to deliver to domestic houseboats.
Our drivers are not permitted to allow customers to assist with deliveries.
Deliveries are not permitted where customers may be placed at risk, e.g. by going to an unsafe working height.
Any special delivery requirements/instructions must be notified to the driver via the delivery ticket. Our drivers are all instructed to follow any specific delivery instructions issued.
Customer Site Improvement Reporting
Where a delivery is made to a site that fails to fully meet these standards or has other safety or environmental issues, the driver will complete a Customer Site Improvement Report.
This report will be followed up with the customer to recommend that suitable modifications are made to improve the delivery site within a stipulated timescale. During this time, every effort will be made to deliver to the customer in a safe manner.
Where a site is deemed unsafe to receive a delivery, the customer will be notified and recommendations given on what action is required to allow delivery to be safely made. In this situation, please note that Certas Energy will not contract a third party to carry out a delivery on our behalf.
Registered Dealer in Controlled Oils (RDCO)
Controlled oils are those subject to rebate duty such as gas oil and kerosene. Certas Energy as an RDCO is obliged to deliver controlled oils to customers only for legitimate uses.
For that reason, Kerosene will only supplied for heating purposes.
It should also be noted that we have a legal duty to report any improper use of fuel to the regulatory authority, and may refuse delivery if this is suspected.