OFTEC urges householders to keep oil tank servicing up to date following serious house fire
KBB Fire Valve

OFTEC urges householders to keep oil tank servicing up to date following serious house fire

On Saturday 13th April, a home in County Antrim, Northern Ireland was completely destroyed by a runaway oil tank fire that continued to rage for around two hours.

The blaze, which it’s believed was started deliberately in a recycling bin at the back of the house, quickly spread to an oil tank and ripped through a 60-year-old woman’s home. Three neighbouring properties were also damaged, along with two vehicles which were parked outside, and a nearby electricity substation, leaving many without power.

A 50-strong crew from the Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue service attended with seven pump appliances and an aerial appliance to fight the fire, and try and contain 2000 litres of domestic oil to limit environmental impact.

One of the residents described the intensity of the blaze: “The flames were higher than the house. It was really scary.” Thankfully, all of the occupants got out and no one was hurt in the incident. However, they believe oil storage tanks are what caused the fire to spread so rapidly, and the incident has highlighted the importance of fire safety in oil-fired homes.

OFTECs advice

OFTEC, which represents the liquid fuel heating industry in the UK and Ireland, has issued the following advice to householders following the incident:

“Oil is a very safe fuel if stored correctly. The best way to protect yourself, your home and others is to make sure your oil tank and any other fuel burning appliances are inspected and serviced by an OFTEC registered technician annually to check for leaks, damage or defects An annual tank check will give the homeowner specific advice on the condition of their oil tank and if any further measures are recommended in terms of fire safety.” – David Blevings, Ireland Manager, OFTEC

OFTEC also requires that all new installations of oil burners include a fire safety shut-off valve to ensure the supply of oil is cut off in the event of a fire. However, if your oil burning equipment is older than 10 years, it may be missing this important component, so OFTEC (along with the Fire Protection Association) recommends that a Fire Valve be fitted to any existing oil fired appliances where there is not one already installed.

The original and best-selling fire safety valve is the OFTEC-approved KBB Fire Valve, which has been setting the industry standard for over 60 years. Now also compatible with the new bio fuels (B30 and B50), as well as the traditional kerosene (for all oils that meet the EN14214 standard), Teddington’s fast-acting, thermally operated KBB Universal Fire Valve provides essential protection for oil-fired boilers, and comes backed by a three-year warranty.

For more information about the KBB Fire Valve click here: