UK householders have been asked to check if their oil tanks leak.
The Environment Agency is urging them to do so to protect the environment and reduce the risk of “potentially” large financial losses.
Leaked oil can end up in drains which could lead to rivers, streams, lakes and garden ponds.
It could also impact wildlife and plants.
The Environment Agency set some simple steps could ensure householders’ safety.
They include putting tanks far from water zones, inspecting and monitoring how much oil is used.
It also recommends supervising oil deliveries and contacting their insurance company if a tank starts leaking.
Jamie Fairfull, Senior Environment Officer said: “Heating oil can cause serious problems if it gets into the environment but it’s not just the cost of losing the oil that can be expensive. Clean up costs can be large and are not always covered by household insurance policies.
“This is why it is vital that oil is only ever stored in tanks that are in good condition. Both the tank and pipe work should be regularly inspected and people should never buy more oil than they can safely store.”