Fuel Tank Safety


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Posted on 03/30/2015 by VLCT Communications


As the spring thaw gives way to potential flooding of Vermont rivers and streams, heating fuel providers throughout the state are participating in a tank safety education campaign. Propane and fuel oil tanks can shift during floods, breaking fuel lines and even dislodging tanks. The outreach effort reminds Vermonters that there are a number of things homeowners should do before, during and after a flooding event to protect their family and home.

  • The installation and inspection of fuel oil tanks is regulated by the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation. Make sure your fuel provider has done an inspection of your tank. All oilheat and kerosene fuel oil tanks that are located in a flood zone must be on a solid foundation and anchored in place in order to be in compliance.
  • Propane tanks should not be anchored in placed unless determined by propane company using the guidelines established under the fire code (NFPA 58). Contact your propane retailer for more information.
  • If heating equipment has been flooded, be sure to shut off the tank service valve. Contact your fuel supplier for more information on how.
  • If you suspect any of your heating equipment has been under water or damaged, schedule a time for a Vermont certified heating technician to perform a complete inspection. Do not use equipment until your system has been inspected by a qualified service technician. A list of certified heating technicians and fuel providers can be found at www.vermontfuel.com.
  • If you notice any spilled or leaking oil, contact your fuel provider immediately. Quick response in these situations can help mitigate property damage and prevent fuel oil from seeping into soil and groundwater. You can contact the Vermont Hazmat Hotline at 1-800-641-5005.
  • If your propane tank has become dislodged, or if you suspect you may have a propane leak, immediately shut down the affected equipment and turn off the gas if it is safe to do so. Leave the area and contact your propane dealer. If you can’t reach your propane dealer, call 911. If you find a propane or oil tank on your property that is not yours, or if your tank is missing, contact your local fire department, your local fuel dealer, or the Vermont Fuel Dealers Association.

The VFDA flood safety brochure for heating fuel tanks is posted here.