Age Scotland is calling on owners of domestic oil storage tanks to check on their state of repair, and to act if there is damage.
Charity spokesperson Greg McCracken said: “We’ve recently received a number of calls to the Age Scotland Helpline from older people and their relatives across the country seeking help with damaged domestic oil storage tanks. The cost of replacing these, as well as the additional cost of the lost oil, has run into thousands of pounds.
“Early autumn is very much the time that consumers should be checking their systems and filling up with oil, as it tends to be cheaper at this time of year before demand rises.
“Spending a little time and money on maintenance now could avoid the cost of replacing your tank in the future, as well as the cost of cleaning up any spills.”
He added: “Heating oil is a very liberal market and consumers are free to buy from any supplier at any time, unless they voluntarily sign up for a longer-term contract. This means that the infrastructure – essentially the tank and pipework getting the fuel to the boiler – ultimately remains the consumer’s responsibility.”
Age Scotland has published an online guide with tips for maintaining an oil storage tank, available at www.agescotland.org.uk. The Age Scotland Helpline is also available to assist on Tel.0845 125 9732.