Heating systems, whether portable or fixed, should be kept in good condition and regularly serviced.
Fuel oil storage tanks
- Tanks should be located with a catch pit or bund equivalent to 110% of the capacity of the tank to retain the contents in the event of a leak. Where fitted externally the catch pit should be fitted with a self-closing rainwater drain valve.
- Tanks should be inspected regularly for signs of rusting and leaks and remedial action taken if necessary.
It is recommended that you do not rely on heating your place of worship with portable heaters. If there is no other option, then it is important to ensure that they are used safely.
If your place of worship uses portable heaters:
- do not place where it may obstruct an exit route or locate it within 1 metre of any combustible materials or furniture;
- do not place on combustible floors or surfaces when the temperature of the cover exceeds 120ºC;
- do not leave unattended particularly outside opening hours;
- do not use with exposed elements - guarded heaters will offer protection;
- do not move while it is still alight or switched on as this could result in injury – always turn it off and allow it to cool first;
- ensure it is well maintained as this will assist in preventing malfunction and possible risk to people and property;
- always use and maintain them in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Electric heaters should have a BEAB (British Electrotechnical Approvals Board) approved and should be tested annually by a competent person.
- The cylinder supplying gas to a heater should be located outside the building and approved pipe work used for supply. If this is not possible they must be located within a well-ventilated secure area;
- Fuel stocks should be kept to a minimum and stored in a secure location away from sources of ignition;
- When changing a gas heater cylinder try to do this in open air. Otherwise, open windows and doors to increase ventilation. Check that the valve on the empty cylinder is closed before disconnecting it and do not turn on the valve of the new cylinder until it is securely connected to the heater;
- Store spare cylinders upright and outside whenever possible. Never store them in basements, under stairs or in cupboards containing electric meters or equipment.
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