Fire Barriers for Oil Tanks – Domestic Dwellings

Building regulations state that heating oil storage tanks must be installed to comply with strict ‘fire separation distances’. This means siting tanks outside of a minimum distance from other structures and common landscape features.

Ensuring that your tank site complies with the law is vitally important to ensure your safety and the prevention of damage to your property or nearby property. Heating fuel is clearly combustible, so it’s an extremely hazardous liquid that must always be stored and used with care.

Let’s take a look at the regulations and also how fire protection barriers for oil tanks might help you with compliance.

What are the regulations covering single domestic dwellings? (information from OFTEC)

Building regulations state that the protection of an above-ground or semi-buried oil tank from a fire, which may start in a building or beyond the site boundary, should be in accordance with the provisions given below:

If the tank is located 1800 mm or more from a domestic building:

No protection is required

If the tank is located less than 1800 mm from any part of a building:

Any eaves less than 1800 mm from the tank should have 30 minutes of fire resistance for integrity and insulation extending 300 mm beyond each side of the tank, and either (a) any part of the building wall less than 1800 mm from the tank should be imperforate (1) with a minimum 30 minutes fire resistance in terms of insulation, integrity and stability to internal fire; or (b) provide a firewall (2) between the tank and any part of the building which is less than 1800 mm from the tank. The firewall should extend not less than 300 mm higher and 300 mm wider than the tank.

If the tank is located 760 mm or more from a boundary:

No protection is required

If the tank is located less than 760 mm from a boundary:

Provide a firewall (2) between the tank and the boundary or a boundary wall, which has a minimum of 30 minutes of fire resistance in terms of insulation, integrity and stability to fire on either side. The firewall or fire resistant boundary wall must extend not less than 300 mm higher and 300 mm beyond the ends of the tank.

Read the full OFTEC regulations covering siting a domestic oil tank here

Problems these regulations cause for domestic oil tank users

Of course, safety should be your number one priority. But, these restrictions can make choosing a site for your oil tank tricky. This is especially the case for domestic tanks as minimising the visual impact of an oil tank is important to maintain the aesthetics of your home and garden – usually a higher priority than for commercial users. Compliance with the minimum distance requirements is often a headache and can also mean that your tank ends up compromising your exterior space or being located on a site that isn’t ideal for you and your family.

Fire barriers for oil tanks provide a workable solution

Fire protection panels provide a solution to this problem and often give you far more choice when it comes to choosing the location for your oil tank installation. The panels are also an effective and economical way to comply with the strict building regulations.

How are fire protection panels – fire barriers for oil tanks – made?

Fire protection panels, also called fire protection barriers, are constructed with high-quality mineral wool insulation sandwiched between steel sheets. Atlantis Tanks’ fire protection panels are then coated with a juniper green finish which makes them ‘blend’ easily with outdoor spaces.

How are fire barriers for oil tanks installed?

The panels can be easily erected using normal hand tools. They can be fixed to non-combustible fence posts and other structures.

What about masonry firewalls?

Another solution is to build masonry fire barriers. While these are highly effective, they are far less economical and must be constructed by a builder, bricklayer or stonemason. Fire protection panels are cheaper, quicker and easier to install.

Atlantis Tanks’ fire protection barriers for oil tanks

We stock a selection of fire-resistant wall sets to accommodate any size of oil tank installation.

Our fire resistance panels are 100mm thick and rated up to 30 minutes.

For 30-minute rating protection, the panels should extend past the tank by 300mm in all dimensions, so it’s important to ensure you buy panels of the right size.

What to do now…

Browse our full range of fire-resistant wall sets or speak to one of our team for help. We’re always ready to offer impartial advice to help you choose the best solution for your needs.

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