Installation of an oil or diesel tank should always be carried out by a competent person (in most cases an OFTEC Registered Technician for Oil Tanks).  However, for your own information and preparation for purchasing a tank the following information will be of assistance. 

Bunded or Single Skin

All non-domestic oil storage tanks over 200 litres need to be bunded.
Located in Wales? - yes you need a bunded tank no matter what size of loaction.
For domestic premises in England & Scotland, you need to carry out an oil storage risk assessment (this can be obtained from OFTEC - form TI/133D).

In brief a Bunded Tank (or Bund) is required in DOMESTIC situations if:

  • You are storing over 2500 litres.
  • Your tank is near an open drain or loose fitting manhole.
  • Your tank is within 10m of controlled water such as a river, stream etc.
  • Your tank is located where any spillage could travel over hard ground to reach controlled water.
  • Your tank is located within 50m of a borehole, spring or well.
  • Your tank vent is not visible from the fill point (such as an extended fill point)
  • Your oil use is for a building other than a single family dwelling (commercial).
  • Any other unique hazards to your site.

Tank Support

If a fuel storage tank is not adequately supported, it could lead to safety concerns, the eventual failure of the tank and even a fuel spill.

The base needs to provide continual structural support, even though ground conditions may vary from season to season.

The base should be:

  1. Adequate for the weight of the tank and its contents (1000 litres of fuel weighs just under a ton!)
  2. Non-combustible, imperforate and level (wood is NOT suitable)
  3. Constructed of concrete, paving stones or stonework
  4. Large enough to extend 300mm beyond all sides of the tank.

Tank Location

There are now very specific rules governing the location of tanks and it’s important to take these rules into account if you are making subsequent changes to your property. The rules are in place for fire safety reasons and although a fire is highly unlikely to originate in a fuel storage tank, it is very important to protect the stored fuel from fires or heat sources nearby.

To protect tanks from an ignition source, tanks should be sited:

  • 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

If you CANNOT comply with the above then you could consider the following options (fitting either of these options correctly will only then require a non-combustible base extending 300mm all the way around the tank):

How can I locate an OFTEC registered installer?
You can find an OFTEC registered installer by using their website

In England and Wales, OFTEC registered technicians can self-certify that their work complies with building regulations. If you use an installer that isn’t registered with a competent person scheme, such as OFTEC, then you will need to obtain a Building Control Notice and arrange for an inspection, which can be costly and time consuming. In Scotland, you may need to apply for a warrant.