PA – On the first day
of autumn, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) encourages
residents to take precautions before filling their home heating oil tanks.
Poorly maintained or leaking home heating oil tanks can pose a fire risk,
diminish indoor air quality, or contaminate groundwater.
One in five
Pennsylvania homes uses heating oil to stay warm in the winter. Owners of home
heating oil tanks should consider inspecting indoor and outdoor home heating
oil tanks for potential problems prior to refilling them. Preventing leaks will
save owners energy and money, in addition to protecting owners’ health.
Cleaning up a
spill caused by a heating oil tank can cost up to $50,000 and may not be
covered by homeowner’s insurance. Homeowners can check with their insurance
provider to see whether coverage is available.
encourages homeowners to consider these tips:
safety reasons, always assume the tank contains at least some oil;
inspect the exterior of the tank and all attached equipment;
for signs of rusting on the tank and its structural supports;
the tank’s fill line and feed line to the furnace for leaks;
tip over or empty a tank onto the ground;
a professional to perform maintenance or alterations to a heating oil tank
that wet spots or odors near the tank may signal a problem.
When fuel is
delivered, make certain that the home address is clearly visible and the tank’s
fill line is clearly marked. If a resident cannot be home when fuel oil is
delivered, mark the fill pipe with a red flag or marker and inform the oil
company of the location. Ensure that any disconnected fill pipes are
permanently sealed and cannot be opened.
think their oil tank may have a problem should immediately contact their oil
company for help.
information about maintaining a home heating oil tank, click here or call DEP’s Division of Storage Tanks at 717-772-5599.